Sen. Joe Biden (D.-Del.) nearly had a fit at today’s hearings over Judge Samuel Alito’s dissent in Bray v. Marriot.
But before Sen. Biden gets all worked up (oh wait, too late!), let’s review the details of this 1997 racial discrimination case:
An African-American woman from New Jersey wanted to sue the Marriott Corp. for discrimination because a white woman got the supervisor’s job she had wanted and thought she had been promised.
Marriot pointed out that the white woman promoted to the job was more qualified in a number of ways – she had more training, had worked at a larger hotel and had supervised higher-ranking employees.
Alito agreed that the African-American woman may have been “treated unfairly” but didn’t find enough evidence to prove racial discrimination.
Moreover, in voting against the claim of racial discrimination in that case, Alito voted to affirm the District Court Judge Marryanne Trump Barry’s opinion in the case. Even though he felt Barry’s opinion “was never necessary and is now obsolete,” Alito once again followed Supreme Court precedent, citing Steinberg v. Carhart in his decision.
Judge Barry went on to be nominated by President Clinton for the Third Circuit and confirmed September 13, 1999 by a unanimous Senate vote – which included the vote of Sen. Biden. During the proceedings, Sen. Frank Launtenberg (D.-N.J.) praised Barry to the skies and not a single Democrat recorded any problem with her nomination.
To top it off — Alito’s dissention was ultimately vindicated by a unanimous Supreme Court decision in Reeves v. Sanderson. And, ironically enough, in an opinion written by the Democrats’ new favorite Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the Supreme Court adopted Alito’s views, dismissing the views of his colleagues on the Third Circuit.
After all was said and done this morning, the Senator turned to the Judge and said: “I think you’re a man of integrity.” Is that supposed to make it all better?
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