Thursday, October 8, 2009

Burr votes against assaulted women's rights

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) yesterday voted against due process of law. That’s the bottom line of Burr’s “Nea” vote on an amendment to the defense spending bill proposed by Sen. Al Franken (D-SNL). Burr also basically told women who have been sexually assaulted that their woes aren’t deserving of a real trial. In the process, he made a really stupid political move that will no doubt come back to haunt him in next year's election.

Franken’s amendment, which passed 68-30, mandates that defense contractors must allow their employees to take workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court, rather than to an in-house arbitration committee. The issue was raised after revelations that some female employees of Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad were raped by their co-workers and, due to that company’s employment contract, they were not allowed to pursue their attackers in a court of law. Franken's amendment does not apply solely to Halliburton, but to any defense contractors.

As Sen. Franken succinctly put it, “The Constitution gives everybody the right to due process of law.” Cut and dry, plain and simple. The question now is how can Richard Burr justify voting against such a proposal? Well, said the GOP flacks, the bill was “just an attack on Halliburton,” it was “against the wishes of the Defense Department” (which, as everyone knows, is constitutionally empowered to determine Congressional decisions), and the amendment “applies to a wide range of companies including IBM and Boeing.” Why IBM or Boeing or Halliburton or Sears Roebuck or any company should be allowed to deny women their constitutional right to a day in court remains unexplained.

Sen. Richard Burr was arrested yesterday for political stupidity (Photo illustration by
  • Sen. Richard Burr was arrested yesterday for political stupidity (Photo illustration by

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