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Kia Franklin

You Ledbetter Recognize! Obama’s First Law Advances Civil Justice

The first new law of the Obama administration advances the movement for access to the civil justice system! Over at TortDeform, we've tracked Ledbetter v. Goodyear and the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act extensively, which is why it's so exciting to share the video below of Obama signing the bill into law:

Obama said that Ledbetter's story provides an opportunity for America to examine whether we're truly living up to our fundamental ideals. This requires a willingness to put some substance to the principles we say we represent as a country. This new law certainly moves us back in the right direction by restoring accountability and security for women, and others who may be victims of discrimination, who are working hard to provide for themselves and their families.

I wrote before the election that Ledbetter's case is a reminder that we need a national conversation about what all American citizens, whose taxes pay for the courts, should be able to expect from our laws and the civil justice system. Obama's remarks advance that conversation:

..Signing this bill today is to send a clear message--that making our economy work means making sure it works for everybody. That there are no second-class citizens in our workplaces. And that it's not just unfair and illegal, it's bad for business to pay somebody less because of their gender or their age or their race or their ethnicity, religion or disability. And that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory, or footnote in a casebook. It's about how our laws affect the daily lives and the daily realities of people: their ability to make a living and care for their families and achieve their goals.

President Obama said that these values where "worth fighting for" and commended Ledbetter for her tireless efforts to ensure that in the future, victims of paycheck discrimination would be able to pursue justice against their employer. Next stop, Arbitration Fairness and Paycheck Fairness Acts!

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Posted at 4:08 PM, Jan 29, 2009 in Civil Justice | Civil Rights | Employment | Progressive Agenda
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