03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Franken's Amendment; the Power and the Promise

Senator Al Franken got my attention and the attention of a lot of other people who care about sexual abuse and violence, with the passing of his Senate Amendment 2566. The Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill provides for the withholding of federal funds from contractors who continue to apply binding arbitration clauses in employment contracts. It was such a clause that prevented Ms. Jamie Leigh Jones from having her day in court after she was allegedly gang raped and locked in a shipping container in Iraq for two days while employed by a subsidiary of Halliburton. Ms. Jones was present at the hearing. I will leave the commentary of Senator Franken's budding political career and those who opposed his amendment to others more qualified than myself.

Instead I offer this video clip of the proceeding so that you may witness the following:

1. An elected public official taking a stand for a victim of brutal sexual violence by ensuring, through legislation, that no other defense contract worker will ever be denied the inherent benefit of seeking justice through the judicial system.

2. A survivor of brutal sexual violence empowered by the support and acknowledgment of an elected public official dedicated to ensuring her rights as a woman and a citizen of the United States.

3. The firm silencing of the voice of those who feel that their private, secret brand of justice, called binding arbitration, is adequate and appropriate.

4. A glowing tribute to the brave crusader for justice by the elected public official citing her courage and persistence as well as his honor to have taken part.

Thanks, Senator Franken, for giving us these images. It's a brilliant start.