Kia Franklin

Times Ed calls for Restoring Civil Rights… (Amen!)

There are just a few guidelines for making a good sandwich, and I think they apply to making a good article too. Let's review. A delicious article-sandwich starts with a great opener:

In recent decades, and to much public acclaim, Congress passed a series of landmark laws designed to ensure equal rights for all Americans. Lately, and without much notice, the Supreme Court has been gutting them." (NYT)

It finishes with a great closing thought:

Conservatives like to say that the court’s conservative justices believe in applying the law, not making it. But in recent years, the court’s majority has been reading federal anti-discrimination laws far more narrowly than Congress intended — not applying the law, but unmaking it.

The opener and closer are like the bread. I prefer gluten free, thanks.

Finally, you have to have delicious ingredients to put in between. This Times article does that by highlighting two critical peices of legislation that, if passed, would make landmark progress in the way our civil justice system provides substance to our very cherished yet ever-disappearing civil rights. (For more on the Rollback on Civil Rights, visit the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights' blog ( and campaign website).

The first bill is the Fair Pay Restoration Act, which would re-establish what had already been the law before the erroneous Ledbetter Supreme Court decision: that anytime an employee receives unequal, discriminatory pay, the employee has 180 days to file suit. This law would reverse last summer's absurd ruling that employees only have 180 days from the day an employer first decides to discriminate (...presumably because employees have the espionage skills to know this right away?). to file suit. Check out the National Women's Law Center's blogpost on TortDeform, and their Blog, for more.

The second bill, the Civil Rights Act of 2008, would restore an even broader array of civi rights that have been chipped away by the Supreme Court over the past decade or so. According to the Times, "one of these is a 2001 ruling that says that people who are discriminated against in programs using federal funds can sue only for intentional discrimination, not for actions that have a discriminatory effect. This decision dramatically scaled back protections against discrimination of all kinds." You can also visit NWLC for information on t his bill.

Mmm mmm. Now that's good. Read up, read up. There are newspaper subscribers starving for such good stuff. And I'm in good company on that sentiment.

Finally, this is the perfect opportunity to remind you of a feature TortDeform proudly offers. To the right of this blog you should see a window for "," a website run by DMI which surveys and tracks various legislation and provides summaries about what they mean for the middle and aspiring middle class. Check it out here or click the link to the right to see what the Ledbetter Act would do for our rights against employment discrimination, and to also search the site for other Civil Justice-related legislation.

Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 4:50 PM, Jan 30, 2008 in In the News
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Thanks for posting this! You are so right about making a good sandwich. And you are right that the sandwich fixins need to include more on the courts and the rollback of our civil rights. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: CJA | January 31, 2008 2:15 PM