Ledbetter: Scheduling as a Political Tactic

By April 23, 2008Briefly Legal, Human Resources

Any doubts as to the political nature of today’s Senate debate and cloture vote on H.R. 2831, the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, were put to rest when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had the Senate adjourn yesterday until 5 p.m. this evening.

Senator Reid filed a cloture motion on Monday. By Senate rules, this means a vote on cloture would follow an hour after the Senate convened on Wednesday — i.e., sometime this morning. But because this is a vote meant not to legislate, but rather to demonstrate support for a philosophy of “fairness” and organized labor’s political agenda, it’s important that Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton be in town to vote yes. With yesterday’s primary in Pennsylvania, it will take them until this evening to arrive back in D.C. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are angry because they were being attacked this week for delaying action on a veterans benefits vote.

The Swamp has a good rundown of the machinations, and The Corner relates the Republican grievances.

We won’t pretend to be horrified at the politics of this, which seem normal enough for an election year, if a little heavy-handed. But then, inject organized labor into a Capitol Hill debate and heavy-handed is what you get.

Just as long as the legislation goes down. Contrary to what editorialists at The Washington Post (“Fair Pay, Fair Play“) and the New York Times (“Pass the Fair Pay Act“) claim, this bill does not correct a faulty Supreme Court ruling, this bill simply opens the floodgates to discrimination lawsuits ad infinitum nauseum. As the NAM’s Key Vote letter makes clear, statutes of limitations were written into the law for a reason.

Anyway, isn’t it funny that legislation that bases its entire existence on “fairness” should elicit such an unfair legislative process?

Leave a Reply