Obama told her story over and over when he campaigned for president: How Ledbetter, now 70, spent years working as a plant supervisor at a tire factory in Alabama. How, when she neared retirement, someone slipped her a pay schedule that showed her male colleagues were making much more money than she was. A jury found her employer, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, to be really, really guilty of pay discrimination.
But the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision led by the Bush appointees, threw out Ledbetterâ€™s case, ruling that she should have filed her suit within 180 days of the first time Goodyear paid her less than her peers.
I think it’s immoral and, worse, probably to inefficient to pay someone less because of the colour of their skin or the contents of their underpants – but it shouldn’t be illegal.