John McCain is Now for Fair Pay after Being Against It

20 09 2008

In an effort to win over women voters, Senator John McCain is willing to say whatever he thinks they want to hear. Consider the issue of fair pay. With Gov. Palin as his cut woman by his side, Senator McCain has come to embrace fair pay as progressive cause he is worth campaign on, at least when talking to women: 

Earlier this week he assured an audience of women voters that:

I want to assure you, that we not only have a role model, but we will hire people and we will make sure people come to our administration wherever there is discrimination. We will eliminate it, we will fight it, and if necessary we’ll take ‘em to court. We’ll do those things.

Watch it. 

Suddenly, John McCain has found his feminist voice on pay discrimination.  This is a strikingly different tune than what he said just a few months ago when the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill that would strengten anti-pay discrimination legislation, came up for a vote in the U.S. Senate and McCain opposed it. While McCain did not actually cast a vote for the bill either yea or nay, he did tell the media that:  

I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what’s being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.


This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system.

Never mind that the Fair Pay Act would merely correct what a bad Supereme Court decision, Lilly Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.,  tried to errode by weakening provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The 1964 Civil Rights Act says a plaintiff must file a complaint within the 180 days “after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred.” The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, creed, disability, age, and national origin.  For decades, the Supreme Court and lower courts understood this provision to mean that employees could sue within 180 of receiving a discriminatory paycheck since each check represented a related yet distinct instance of discrimination in a series of discriminatory acts.

But Justice Alito, however, had a different interpretation of the law.  In the Ledbetter decision the Justice Alito caluously concluded that Ms. Ledbetter filed her compliant too late and was not entitled to any compensation for her being discriminated against by her employer, despite the fact that she was doing the same job as her male peers, but being paid less for doing so. 

In writing for the majority, Justice Alito found Ms. Ledbetter should have filed her suit with the EEOC within 180 days of the original decision to pay her differently. “Current effects alone cannot breathe life into prior, uncharged discrimination,” declared the Justice.  Never mind that Ms. Ledbetter had no way knowing much leas proving she was discriminated against until she was informed about through recieving an anonymous note from a fellow co-worker.  

Now the bill as it was written in April would just restore the law back to its pre-Ledbetter interpretation and Mr. Straight Talk Express opposed it then, but is for it now. 

In arguing that the Fair Pay Act is another instance of unnecessary of government intrustion, and “opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems” not only does it stand in tension with McCain’s rhetoric on the need for tighter regulation, but also highlights his view of the Courts. The Ledbetter decision was as much about discrimination as it was about who has access to the courts and under what circumstances to seek justice for a wrong done to them.  With the Ledbetter decision, Justices such as Samuel Alito and John Roberts on the Supreme Court sought to err on the side of big business at the expense of worker’s rights and ensure that workers don’t have a much of an opportunity to take their employer to court when they have been discriminated against. 

And John McCain must like these Juges because he told a conservative crowd this past spring what his models for the federal bench look like

Two of the best of those are Judges Alito and Roberts. You can be very proud of them. My friends, I want to tell you, I will try to find clones of Alito and Roberts. I will try to find people just like them.

(H/T: Think Progress)




2 responses

20 09 2008


“watch it”

story of Obama’s campaign. iT really sucks, but he is taking up all his time pointing out mccain’s lies, and the press isn’t giving him any breaks. Here’s a post i wrote about it.

20 09 2008

Check out the Keating Five. You’ll love it with the current affairs going on now-a-days.

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