30 Republican Senators Vote Against Rape Victims’ Rights To Bring Charges In Court

Yesterday, 30 Republican senators opposed an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that would prohibit federal defense contractors like Halliburton/KBR from getting money “if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.”In other words30 GOP senators want to deny rape victims their day in court.

Just stupefying and enraging.  Here Senator Franken explains the story of Jamie Leigh Jones who alleges she was gang raped while working for Halliburton/KBR and the unjust clause which is preventing her from being able to press charges:

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The 30 Republican senators voting against it:

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • mikespeir

    I’d like to see the other side’s rationale.

    • Daniel Fincke

      me too, but I can’t find one yet. All I have so far is Sessions accusing Franken of being politically motivated.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers/ Daniel Fincke

    A little more on Sessions vs. Franken:

    The floor debate preceding the vote brought Minnesota’s junior senator, a Democrat, head-to-head with the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who maintained that Franken’s amendment overreached into the private sector and suggested that it violated the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution. Sessions also pointed out that the Department of Defense opposed the amendment.

    But Franken held his ground. First, he argued against Sessions’ constitutional argument.

    “Article 1 Section 8 of our Constitution gives Congress the right to spend money for the welfare of our citizens. Because of this, Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote, ‘Congress may attach conditions on the receipt of federal funds and has repeatedly employed that power to further broad policy objectives,’” Franken said. “That is why Congress could pass laws cutting off highway funds to states that didn’t raise their drinking age to 21. That’s why this whole bill [the Defense Appropriations bill] is full of limitations on contractors — what bonuses they can give and what kind of health care they can offer. The spending power is a broad power and my amendment is well within it.”

    After the vote, however, Sessions reiterated that the amendment’s language was too broad and that arbitration was a useful way of resolving disputes.
    Sessions pointed to the fact that an appeals court recently ruled that Jones’ lawsuit could go to court, in part because it is beyond the bounds of the contract agreement. (On Tuesday, however, Halliburton filed a petition for re-hearing to try to return the case to arbitration.)
    “For overall justice in the American system, I think arbitration employment contracts is legitimate and we ought not to constrict it too much,” said Sessions.

    Those in favor of the arbitration process argue that it is faster, more private, and usually less expensive than going to court.

    “The Congress should not be involved in writing or rewriting private contracts,” Sessions said. “That’s just not how we should handle matters in the United States Senate, certainly not without a lot of thought and care and the support of, at least the opinion of, the Department of Defense.”

    Sessions said that the Department of Defense opposed Franken’s amendment in part because it determined that enforcement would be problematic.

    But Franken dismissed that argument, indicating that the disapproval of the Department of Defense did not necessitate abandoning the amendment.

    “Sometimes you have to push bureaucracies to get change,” he said

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