It's impossible to refute lies about discrimination dating back decades when supervisors and witnesses are no longer around to defend themselves. So the jury awarded Ledbetter a shocking $3,285,979 in punitive damages, plus $223,776 in back pay and $4,662 for mental anguish, thereby demonstrating how ignoring statutes of limitation is like winning the lottery.
New Haven plaintiff attorney Karen Lee Torre, who has won many sex discrimination cases, said: "I know a victim when I see one; Lilly Ledbetter is no victim. ... She hawked her case to a jury without the man she accused of sexism there to tell his side."
Imagine what this kind of verdict does to a company struggling to compete with foreign manufacturers that are not subject to this nonsense. Goodyear has manufacturing operations in 25 countries, and it would be no surprise if it downsizes its U.S. workforce even further to avoid this type of expensive litigation.
Statutes of limitation prevent frivolous cases like this, and the law under which Ledbetter sued contained such a provision. Goodyear appealed and won before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Supreme Court also agreed with Goodyear, remarkably ruling that "we apply the statute as written, and this means that any unlawful employment practice, including those involving compensation, must be presented to the EEOC within the period prescribed by statute." Three cheers for the Supreme Court, which refrained from the liberal temptation to rewrite a law passed by Congress.
When Barack Obama was toadying to the trial lawyers and the feminists during last year's presidential campaign, he tried to make Lilly Ledbetter his answer to John McCain's Joe the Plumber. Ledbetter told the press that "Obama said he would see me in the White House when he signs the bill."
Liberal special-interest groups can barely control their excitement as they anticipate all this booty coming their way as they fleece businesses for alleged sins of 20 years ago. Marcia Greenberger of the National Women's Law Center, which has already made millions out of claiming discrimination but demands that the system be tilted even further against business, was photographed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she rushed this bill to passage on Jan. 9.
If these two bills become law, companies will have to spend their time and money defending against frivolous claims of discrimination instead of hiring new employees and manufacturing new products for sale.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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