Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Alito Leads A Reactionary Court Against Workers

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, a disreputable ideologue, wrote the 5-4 High Court decision released yesterday that gutted an important feature of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, giving victims of salary discrimination only 180 days to file suit. Since many salary comparisons do not become known until much later, this in effect removes substantial workers rights, is a blow to women and minorities and confirms, as clearly as ever before, that President Bush's appointments of both Alito and John Roberts to the court were highly reactionary.

Alito insisted at his confirmation hearings that he would think independently. He lied. Chief Justice Roberts cloaked himself in a veneer of respectability, when, in fact, he is not respectable.
In the often corrupt system of justice in the Bush Administration, these two, along with Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, form a dishonorable quartet on the court. They are bound on a course to defy the public interest, and are often joined by the right of center Anthony Kennedy in rendering decisions that restrict the rights of the American people. Alito, more than any of the others, can most accurately be described as a petty fascist.

The New York Times editorial on the decision, appearing in the newspaper Thursday, was strong and to the point:

"The Supreme Court struck a blow for discrimination this week by stripping a key civil rights law of much of its potency. The majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, forced an unreasonalbe reading on the law, and tossed aside longstanding precedents to rule in favor of an Alabama employe that had underpaid a female employee for years. The ruling is the latest indication that a court that once proudly stood up for the disadvantaged is increasingly protective of the powerful..."

There is no getting around the fact that one of the best arguments to elect a Democrat to the presidency next year is to ultimately bring about court appointments that will reverse this unwholesome trend. If the Democrats were as devoted to protecting American freedoms with action abroad, as they are at home, theirs would be an ironclad case for removal of a Republican from the White House.

In a dissent delivered from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the Alito opinion "overlooks common characteristics of pay discrimination." She pointed out that given the secrecy in most workplaces about salaries, many employees would have no idea within 180 days that they had received lower raises than others, and the disparity would likely only increase with time.

The New York Times ran the Alito decision as its lead story on Page 1 this morning, which given its significance was the right place for it. The Los Angeles Times ran it back on Page 12, which may reflect the right wing, anti-labor bias of Chicago-toadying publisher David Hiller, and the nebbish editor, James O'Shea.


Buyout losses of the L.A. Times include, in California, Ralph Frammolino. Jenifer Warren, Rone Tempest, Bob Salladay, Mike Kennedy, Jean Guccione, Nancy Cleeland, Nancy Wride, Roy Rivenburg, Gary Polakovic Mai Tran, Valerie Reitman, and Frank Clifford.

Not such a loss is Bob Sipchen, whose ill-informed educational column was the latest in a whole series of assignments he had filled unsuccessfully. Unfortunately for the good of California and the environmental movement, Sipchen is reportedly set to become editor of the Sierra Club's magazine.

In her memo, Janet Clayton said there will be hires to replace some of these folks. They are sure to be lower paid and less professional. The paper, in fact, is no longer great, despite claims Clayton made in her memo.

LA Observed this morning prints the form letters Hiller and O'Shea have been sending out to the readers who complained about the termination of columnist Al Martinez. They are the same kind of pap we have come to expect from these two usurpers and enemies of California.



Anonymous Matt Weinstock said...

Could it be that Congress is too stupid (or smart like a chickencoop full of foxes) to write a clear law? It's been my experience that their work is careless, hazy and unclear. That way courts and administrators can interpret them as they please. This doesn't hurt the lawyer's income any either. The supremes called that one as it read.

5/30/2007 12:02 PM  

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