It was hard to contain my sadness and fury over the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday that basically kicks the legs out from under a woman who has been consistently and systematically discriminated against by getting paid less than men in the same, or more junior, positions.
Didn’t catch on early that you were getting paid less than the guys you supervise? Too bad — we can’t let companies get sued for old discrimination, according to the majority.
Some may say, well, it’s just one opinion — how bad can it be?
Take a clue from Justice Ginsburg’s words and actions.
She read her dissenting opinion from the bench. And said this:
“In [the dissenters'] view, the court does not comprehend, or it is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination.”
It is rare for dissents to be read from the bench when an opinion is announced, so the fact that she’s done this twice in about a month sends a message. Maybe it’s the message she gave to USA Today earlier this year when Justice Ginsburg described her postion on the bench as “lonely.”
But I’m betting she’s angry, too.
And I am guessing it’s not just because she’s the only Justice using the ladies’ room in the Supreme Court building.
If Justice Ginsburg, as the most powerful and influential woman jurist and attorney in the country, feels that the highest court doesn’t comprehend or is indifferent to the issues that continue to face working women today, where does that leave us? Not in a good place.
I don’t mean to be a dog with a bone in this issue, but we can only expect more of these kinds of decisions if the Supreme Court continues on the current conservative road it is on. And it’s not just us I’m worried about. Our daughters are going to have to live with the consequences of these decisions, as well.
I’m wondering what the dinner table discussion was at the home of Chief Justice Roberts last night when his wife, an accomplished attorney at a large law firm, got wind of the decision. They have a daughter, too.
I’m hoping that at least she made the Chief Justice scrub the pots and pans as penance.