On Tuesday, President Obama will host Lilly Ledbetter, the woman for whom Obama’s first bill was named, at the White House. This is apparently Ledbetter’s first visit back to the White House since she came to the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, signed by Obama in January 2009.
That law, which lengthened the statute of limitations on lawsuits on the basis of gender discrimination in pay, a boondoggle in favor of trial lawyers. Ledbetter herself worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. from 1979 to 1998; she only filed suit after retiring from the company, even though she admitted that she knew about her lower pay since 1992. In her initial trial, she won over $3.5 million in total damages. The Supreme Court ruled that the statute of limitations had run, however.
Republican opposition to the Ledbetter Act led off the Democrats’ “war on women” line of argument, in which Democrats suggested for years that Republicans are sexists who oppose equal pay. Obama is apparently looking to reinvigorate that line of argument moving toward the 2014 election cycle, despite the Obama administration’s continuing pay disparity between men and women.