Why is Senator Burr Pro-Rape?

So our Sen. Burr is on record for voting against Al Franken’s bill that prohibits the Pentagon from hiring contractors that won’t allow women employees to sue if male employees rape them on the job, as in the Halliburton case in Iraq. Sen. Burr is among 30 male Republican senators who think rape is okay if employees of Federal contractors like Halliburton are involved.

Today, I sent the following letter to Senator Burr:

Senator Richard Burr
US Senate
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Burr;
Please explain to me your reasoning for voting against Senator Al Franken’s bill ( S.AMDT.2588 / H.R.3326 ) concerning Federal contracts with Halliburton or any other contractor who requires mandatory arbitration clauses to be signed by employees, thereby prohibiting female employees from suing when they are raped by fellow male employees.
I am truly puzzled that you would be for rape. As your constituent, I look forward to your clarification of your vote.



I also sent the letter below to the Forum of the News and Observer:

If Jon Stewart reports it, surely it is important enough for the front page of the News and Observer. Because I was out of town the past few weeks and might have missed it, I searched the N&O archives online, but didn’t find any mention of Sen. Burr’s recent vote against Senator Franken’s bill (S.AMDT.2588) concerning Federal contracts with Halliburton or any other contractor who requires mandatory arbitration clauses to be signed by employees, thereby prohibiting female employees from suing when they are raped by fellow male employees.
Sen. Burr joined 29 other male Republican senators in what seems to be a pro-rape position. All the women Republican senators joined the majority to vote for the bill.
Isn’t this at least as significant as the watering of the former governor’s golf club greens during a drought?
Although the general story about the 30 senators is all over the Internet, I’d like to see an in-depth interview with our Sen. Burr about his pro-rape vote in the N&O soon.
I am sure the rest of his female constituents would too. I nominate Ruth Sheehan to write the article!

I will post any response I receive from Senator Burr. This is a very important issue that must not disappear in the upcoming 2010 Senatorial election.

Nell Steelman Whitlock

By the way, links of interest:




Don't hold your breath waiting for a response from Burr

Look for a form letter in a few weeks, maybe a month, saying that he supports America and is doing all he can to serve whatever. It's the same form letter he sends to any inquiring mind, unless you're a corporate influencer, in which case he'll give you all the attention you can buy.

Thanks for this excellent post.


This is the kind of divisive crap we don't need in this country. "Pro Rape!" Give me a freaking break. Way to lower the credibility of BlueNC a notch or twelve...

Not Bull$%%&

So it's now divisive to hold government contractors to a standard?

Or simply "anti-accountability"

How about "boys will be boys"

Or "undesired forced vaginal penetration is legally insignificant"

If you find this characterization of Senator's Burr's position to be unfair, please offer another characterization.

Rape without consequences?


Guess maybe you don't know many rape victims

Or as W would say, Dick Burr, you're either with rape victims or your against 'em.

The "divisive crap" you should be complaining about came with Burr's vote to allow rapists to settle for a slap on the wrist.

That doesn't mean Burr is pro rape

...and I do know several rape victims. Burr voted to protect rapists. He voted to diminish the rights of rape victims. That doesn't mean he thinks women and men should be raped. I realize it is a technicality, but the actual truth is almost as bad. SPLib is right. Headlines like these hurt our credibility.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Hmmm...upon a second reading

I think we are talking about civil litigation, not criminal prosecution. My understanding is that no employer contract can supersede local, state or federal law, so I'm pretty sure the Franken amendment is dealing with contracts that restrict men and women from suing for damages in a civil court. Again....I could be wrong. I honestly didn't go to Thomas to read the actual language. I'm knee deep in FEC reports.

edit - I didn't go to Thomas, but I did go to HuffPo...not exactly clear there, but the writer does use the language, "take them to court."

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I could have it wrong too

In watching the video of Franken's questioning the Senate committee, the woman who was raped was focused on being able to get her case into court. The discussion didn't distinguish between civil and criminal proceedings, so you're probably right.

So, the Franken Amendment is a good amendment

It prevents companies from requiring employees to sign contracts that prevent the employee from recovering damages when he or she has been gang raped and kidnapped by other employees of the company - and in this case...from what I remember...raped in a country that stones to death women who have been raped.( I know, I need to read more carefully...)

Yeah...that's bad enough. We don't have to call him pro-rape when we spell it out like that.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

From what I read, the issue

From what I read, the issue of mandatory arbitration in the rape case is moot. The court ruled that the rape was not part of "regular work activity" or something like that, so any contract agreeing to arbitration does not apply. It's sad that it takes a court to confirm that being raped by your coworkers is something different than your run of the mill workplace injury.

Civil may be the only recourse

When American citizens are working abroad for a private contractor, the mechanism for justice is kind of murky. It appears that neither the DOJ nor the DOD feel compelled to prosecute (criminally) crimes such as assault or rape that happen to non-government private contractors, and local-country laws (like in Iraq) usually only protect citizens of said country. And since we haven't signed on to the World Court...

So that leaves civil litigation or arbitration as the only outlet for justice. Since companies like KBR (Halliburton) actually hire the arbitrator, there's a huge conflict of interest going that route. And since KBR uses a mandatory arbitration clause in their employment contracts, that leaves nothing. Justice denied.

I'm not even going to try to capture the Thomas link, but here's part of (the idiot) Jeff Sessions' argument against Franken's Amendment:

The Department of Defense let me know to oppose this amendment. There are a number of reasons: because it goes far beyond the issue raised by my colleague from Minnesota. It eliminates arbitration for any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act, any claim resulting from negligent hiring, negligent supervision or retention of an employee--virtually any employment dispute that is now resolvable under arbitration, which the U.S. Supreme Court has said is good. Statistics show that employees get final judgment and actually win more cases under arbitration than they do going to the expense of a Federal court trial.

I think we should listen to the Department of Defense and vote no on this amendment.

The DOD's opposition has nothing to do with protecting victims or an efficient system of redress, and everything to do with preserving the cash flowing to contractors like Halliburton/KBR. And that's probably the same reason Burr voted against it, too.

"pro rape"

I'm sorry, but I've read this thread and many others concerning this issue. This man diminishes the crime. He makes light of it through his vote. If he isn't against rape in all his actions then he might as well be for it. Truly a despicable human being. I am so ashamed to be represented by this monster.