Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the LifeZette, and written by David Kamioner.
In the race-charged political atmosphere of today's national debate the federal government, strangely under the Trump administration, has decided to continue an Obama-era lawsuit against a private company on alleged pay discrimination.
The situation is an odd one because the Trump administration does not share the leftist ideology of the previous administration when it comes to racial discrimination issues and has vigorously challenged calls for the selective targeting of firms for racial bias in other matters.
In fact, the president has made a point of calling for law and order, but the pursuit of this lawsuit in allowing the Department of Labor (DOL) to ignore basic tenets of the law flies in the face of that promise and commitment.
One possible explanation for this anomaly is the involvement in the case of former Trump Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta. Acosta was implicated in the handing out of a sweetheart sentence in 2008, while he was a federal prosecutor in Florida, to Jeffrey Epstein confronting charges of sexual abuse. At Acosta's urging, Epstein served only 13 months for the abuse of dozens of young women. Mr. Acosta resigned as Secretary of Labor in 2019 while under a cloud of suspicion over the Epstein sentence.
How does that tie in? Acosta was likely doing all he could to keep a low profile when he was in office and stopping the Oracle lawsuit would bring him under even more scrutiny by the press and lawmakers. So instead of killing the frivolous lawsuit in its tracks, as justice would have demanded, Acosta let it go ahead to save his own political skin. Ultimately, he did it to no avail.
But Oracle fought back. The firm filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. in 2019 challenging the system of enforcement established by the Department of Labor and its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) for pay bias claims against government contractors.
The Oracle suit states that under law, claims against government contractors are not fairly prosecuted in federal courts with a federal jury. Instead, in a blatant conflict of interest, the DOL itself serves as investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury and appellate court. So, of course, the DOL always rules in favor of its own interests as instructed by its leadership. It's the very definition of a Kangaroo Court.
"Oracle filed this case because it is being subjected to an unlawful enforcement action by the Labor Department utilizing a process with no statutory foundation whatsoever,"
said Ken Glueck, Oracle executive vice president, referring to the lawsuit.
"It is apparent that neither Solicitor of Labor Kate O'Scannlain nor OFCCP Director Craig Leen is prepared to move back to a system where merits trump optics. Oracle brings this suit because the leadership at the Department of Labor has failed to restore balance to an unrestrained bureaucracy. We believe strongly in maintaining a level playing field in the workplace for all of our employees and remain proud of our firm commitment to equality in our workforce. This lawsuit seeks to ensure that employers such as Oracle are likewise entitled to a level playing field when the government asserts claims of discrimination. That has not been the case with the OFCCP, resulting in enforcement actions that are meritless and defamatory to Oracle, its executives, and other government contractors,"
Especially in the business-friendly and conservative Trump administration, the unexpected move by Acosta and DOL to continue the suit did not go over well in GOP circles.
DC insider blog Wonkette reported, "In point of fact, Acosta was not beloved by everyone in the Trump administration. As secretary of Labor, his zeal for undoing Obama-era worker protections was found lacking by the 'friends of the forgotten man' who surround Trump."
Politico reports that then "Acting" Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has long had his knives out for Acosta, and conservatives are pissed that Acosta let an employment discrimination suit against Oracle continue. Check out the vapors at the Wall Street Journal editorial page: "One mystery is why Secretary Acosta would continue his predecessor's depredations that seek to dictate how businesses manage their workforces and rewrite civil-rights and labor law according to the left's identity politics. Is he running the bureaucracy or getting run over by it?"
The key was Acosta's nervousness over the fallout from the Epstein case, the case that finally drove him from office. Combine that with the natural DC phenomenon of a government lawsuit taking on a life of its own, regardless of the merits, and it's obvious why this absurd lawsuit continues to be before the courts.