“Fair” — Time for the Obama Court to Spread the Wealth

Barack Obama gave a revealing and perfectly awful answer regarding the role of the Supreme Court in Wednesday’s debate:

I will look for those judges who have an outstanding judicial record, who have the intellect, and who hopefully have a sense of what real-world folks are going through. I’ll just give you one quick example. Senator McCain and I disagreed recently when the Supreme Court made it more difficult for a woman named Lilly Ledbetter to press her claim for pay discrimination. For years, she had been getting paid less than a man had been paid for doing the exact same job. And when she brought a suit, saying equal pay for equal work, the judges said, well, you know, it’s taken you too long to bring this lawsuit, even though she didn’t know about it until fairly recently. We tried to overturn it in the Senate. I supported that effort to provide better guidance to the courts; John McCain opposed it. I think that it’s important for judges to understand that if a woman is out there trying to raise a family, trying to support her family, and is being treated unfairly, then the court has to stand up, if nobody else will. And that’s the kind of judge that I want.

Let’s count up the things that are wrong with this. First, judges aren’t supposed to consider the economic, social or political status of litigants. In fact, they take an oath not to. (“I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me . . . ) It is irrelevant whether the plaintiff was a working stiff, a struggling mom, or an heiress. This was a case of statutory interpretation under the Equal Pay Act. Extending special consideration based on her personal life story would be entirely inappropriate.

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“Fair” — Time for the Obama Court to Spread the Wealth

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