One Is the Loneliest Number

Wed, May 30, 2007


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.
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8 Responses to “One Is the Loneliest Number”

  1. impromptublogger Says:

    Ha-ha! Doubt it – I’m sure their maid or housekeeper did it. But maybe he got to sleep on the couch … ;-)

    It is very sad. I sure do miss Sandy O’Connor.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I’m so happy to hear this (not). Not that surprised though.

    And I also doubt that anything was different at all chez Roberts from any other day. Some women would rather earn less money than their male colleagues. Depressing, but true.

  3. Lawyer Mama Says:

    You are so right! And I hope Roberts’ wife made him sleep in the dog house. Or better yet, told him exactly why he’s wrong – in front of their daughter.

  4. karrie Says:

    Absolutely infuriating.

  5. FENICLE Says:

    I am sure the dinner conversation at the Roberts’ house was rather interesting. He’s not getting any for a long time….

  6. jen Says:

    Wow. You write so well what i was feeling after reading about all of this.

    but you know, we are women. we will laugh in the face of every defeat. we will move forward. we will. it’s what makes us us.

  7. Pgoodness Says:

    first we get paid less for doing the job better and then we get told that we can’t take legal action by the time we weigh the pros and cons and get the gumption to face the consequences of suing? Yipe. I don’t have daughters and I’m self-employed, but it doesn’t make it any less important.

  8. Anali Says:

    Great post, but so depressing. Things really need to change in this country. *sigh, sigh*

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