Statement by People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert:
“Senator Norm Coleman was against fair pay when it counted. He lined up with his Republican colleagues and voted to put President Bush’s nominee, Justice Samuel Alito, on the Supreme Court for life. Alito already had a track record as an extreme right-wing appellate judge. As a Supreme Court justice, he surprised no one when he authored a 5-4 opinion in Ledbetter v. Goodyear that made it easier for companies to pay discriminatory wages with impunity.”
“Now Senator Coleman says he is ‘very open’ to reversing the decision but hasn’t been clear on whether or not he is supporting the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is coming up for a crucial vote in the Senate today. Coleman has said he will seek a “compromise” on the bill. Meanwhile his Senate Republican colleagues have already lined up to quash it.
“Senator Coleman’s lip service to fair pay is no consolation for Americans like Lilly Ledbetter who face pay discrimination and are left without legal recourse. In fact, it’s an insult. Coleman has shown himself to be a fair-weather friend of workers — not there when you need them, and there when you don’t.
“The Supreme Court’s ruling in Ledbetter was unfair and unreasonable, and Senator Coleman played a key enabling role. People For the American Way will work to ensure that Minnesotans don’t forget this fact.”
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People For the American Way is currently running a radio ad in the Twin Cities that focuses on Senator Coleman’s support of President Bush’s ultraconservative nominees to the Supreme Court.
People For the American Way has also produced a series of short videos featuring Lilly Ledbetter, the factory worker who faced years of sex discrimination on the job and was paid far less than men doing the same work. She won a discrimination case before a federal jury, but she was ultimately denied justice by the Supreme Court. In the videos, Ledbetter discusses her case, the impact of the ruling, and her views of Justice Alito and the Supreme Court.