06.18.09

Comment On The Supreme Court’s 5-4 Ruling In Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.

“In the Supreme Court’s decision today, five justices acted to disregard precedent and ignore the plain reading and common understanding of the statute that Congress passed to protect Americans from discrimination based on their age.  It is even more troubling that these five justices decided to go further than the question presented to the Court.  This overreaching by a narrow majority of the Court will have a detrimental effect on all Americans and their families.  In these difficult economic times, American workers need to be protected from discrimination.   

“The decision today reminds me of the Court’s wrong-headed ruling in Ledbetter.  In fact, it was these same five justices who misconstrued an employment discrimination statute in that case, and also overturned a jury verdict in favor of the employee.  As Justice Stevens wrote in dissent today, the Court’s overreach is ‘unnecessary lawmaking. . . . the majority’s inattention to prudential Court practices is matched by its utter disregard of our precedent and Congress’ intent.’  By disregarding congressional intent and the time-honored understanding of the statute, a five member majority of the Court has today stripped our most senior American employees of important protections.” 

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