ERA now | Arkansas Blog

ERA now

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Sen. Gilbert Baker got some good press this morning for advocating better pay for one of his constituents, a clerk for another constituent, Appeals Court Judge Karen Baker.

Senator Baker sees gender bias in pay for appeals court clerks, although the attorney general has reviewed the matter and apparently found to the contrary. Enough isn't known from the reporting to draw a conclusion. One male clerk apparently makes a good deal more than four female clerks, but none of the reporting addresses the employees' length of employment. Interesting point raised by Gilbert Baker -- gender discrimination among the four female clerks based on the gender of their supervisors (male judges' clerks make more than female judges'). Again, though, we need to know more about other elements in these cases, particularly years of service.

Nonetheless, Gilbert Baker undoubtedly welcomes some cover on gender issues. He's a devoted opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment. And he's vulnerable to attack on a black mark in his record -- his appearance as a character witness for a campaign worker accused of raping a woman at knifepoint as well as beating her and burning her with a cigarette lighter. The man was convicted of kidnapping and assault.

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