While the three witches from Macbeth and that troll Stephen Breyer are busy conjuring up ways to make our lives miserable, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court has been handing down a remarkable number of excellent decisions as it closes its current term. Is there hope yet for finding ObamaCare unconstitutional in 2012?
On Monday, the court ruled in favor of Wal-Mart that 1.6 million female employees from all different experience levels, supervisory positions, managerial structures, work specialties, employment backgrounds, ages, races, geographical regions, and 3,400 different retail stores cannot collectively prove that they were paid less or denied promotions because of their genitalia.
The plaintiffs didn’t have a particular manager in common, or a particular store, or even a particular region of the country.
Ignore for the moment the fact that a much higher percentage of female employees work part-time or take extended leave to give birth to or care for children, have shorter work histories, or assume fewer responsibilities or work less overtime because they have more modest aspirations for reaching upper management. Never mind that Wal-Mart was named one of the 35 best companies for promoting females in 2007 by the National Association for Female Executives.
The fact remains: The purpose of our court system is to dispense justice by punishing offenders for specific, provable acts of wrongdoing. The purpose of a class action lawsuit is to allow numerous victims who have suffered an identical inconvenience from a specific, narrow, defective or faulty product, service, or contractor—a medicine with an unforeseen side effect, a car door handle that breaks off, a provision violated in the fine print of a banking contract—to pool their resources and force a corporation to address a systematic problem via a substantial monetary settlement. read more »