A front-page headline in today’s Washington Post proclaims that SCOTUS nominee Judge John Roberts “resisted” women’s rights while working for the Reagan administration.
Here’s how the Post report begins:
Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. consistently opposed legal and legislative attempts to strengthen women’s rights during his years as a legal adviser in the Reagan White House, disparaging what he called ‘the purported gender gap’ and, at one point, questioning ’whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good.
In internal memos, Roberts urged President Ronald Reagan to refrain from embracing any form of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment pending in Congress; he concluded that some state initiatives to curb workplace discrimination against women relied on legal tools that were ’highly objectionable’; and he said that a controversial legal theory then in vogue — of directing employers to pay women the same as men for jobs of ’comparable worth’ — was ’staggeringly pernicious and anti-capitalist.’
Let’s start with comparable worth.
The IWF’s own Carrie Lukas has debunked the “comparable worth” myth that feminists are still trying to sell to the public:
The feminist left’s attempt to tar Judge John Roberts as a fan of abortion-clinic bombers failed, so they need a new angle to convince women that he’s a threat. The latest crop of memos released by the White House provides a new opening: Roberts doesn’t believe in ’equal pay for women.’ …
…Roberts’s reflections on the danger of the government micromanaging wages were plain common sense. Comparable-worth theory assumes that wages set by the marketplace are unfair to women and that the government will better decide the just compensation for a given job. New York’s Senator Hillary Clinton introduced legislation based on this concept earlier this year: Her bill would require that employers pay equal salaries to ’equivalent’ jobs. While bureaucrats would ponder how to define ‘equivalent,’ employers, fearing a flurry of lawsuits, would likely regiment their salary practices.
Women would be the big losers from this new regime. Women tend to want flexible employment arrangements: Many women — particularly those with children — willingly trade higher pay for the ability to leave each day at 4 p.m. to pick up the kids from school. Employers may hesitate to offer such options under a new ‘comparable worth’ regime, since bureaucrats thumbing through their records could question why the female manager makes less than her male counterpart.
True comparable-worth advocates aren’t just concerned about pay discrepancies within offices or even industries. They want to ‘correct’ the unfair system that results in industries dominated by men, such as truck driving, paying more than those dominated by women, such as elementary-school teaching. Implicit in their logic is the snobbish belief that jobs like teaching deserve more compensation since they require more education, while truck drivers just mindlessly drone from one highway to the next.”
Many sensible women opposed the Equal Rights Amendment as bunk–we have the same rights as men. Why turn us into a victim class needing special protection?
Does Roberts, as the article implies, oppose women entering professional jobs? I seriously doubt it. Roberts’ wife is a lawyer.
But the feminist movement has gone so far in promoting professional women over homemakers that, in our society, you practically have to be Mei Xiang, the National Zoo’s mama panda, to get any respect for being a good mother.
Roberts isn’t resisting women’s rights–he’s standing up for women who want to be professionals and women who want another path. He’s a nominee who reflects the views of mainstream women.