In a 68-31 vote, the Senate confirmed President Obama's choice, Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. All democrats voted for her, as did 9 republicans. Both of Alabama's Senators voted no. Sotomayor will replace Justice David Souter, who retired recently. Justice Souter was considered one of the "liberal" members of the Court, and it is not certain if Sotomayor will dramatically change the balance on the Court. Sotomayor is the third female justice, and arguably the second Hispanic, after Justice Cardozo. It is anticipated that she will be sworn in shortly, perhaps by the end of this week.
In 2007, the United States Supreme Court issued it's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, a case arising out of a dispute in Alabama. The Supreme Court, addressing claims under Title VII and the Equal Pay Act, narrowly interpreted the applicable statute of limitations, finding that each pay check was not sufficient to be an act of discrimination, and that the 180 day time period to file a charge with the EEOC began when Ledbetter's pay was set. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that President-Elect Obama and Congress intend to quickly overturn the Ledbetter decision through legislation. Obama had previously co-sponsored a bill in the Senate to do so, and Ms. Ledbetter, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention, reported that Obama would see her in the White House when he signs the bill into law. The New York Times article quotes R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, as saying that any such legislation "would lead to an explosion of litigation".
Practice pointer. With our new President set to take office in two weeks, and with the makeup of our new Congress, I anticipate that there will be many attempts to change or amend various laws in the employment arena. I will continue to report on any changes as they occur.