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Once again, we find ourselves trying to figure out what the hell Antonin Scalia is saying

Posted on June 21, 2011 | in Equal Pay, HerLaw | by

As I impa­tiently wait for New York to become the sixth state in the coun­try to legal­ize gay mar­riage, I fig­ure I may as well do some­thing besides refresh the Advocate’s main page every five min­utes. It’s get­ting late in the day, anyway.

So here’s a round-up of what everyone’s been say­ing about yesterday’s Supreme Court rul­ing on Wal-Mart v. Dukes. In a 5:4 deci­sion*, the issue was not whether Wal-Mart was indeed dis­crim­i­nat­ing against women but whether the more than 1.5 mil­lion women suing Wal-Mart could do so as one group. They can­not, accord­ing to the major­ity opin­ion, which was writ­ten by Antonin Scalia, and I hon­estly don’t fully under­stand his jus­ti­fi­ca­tion (or why they let that dude any­where near a gavel). I do know that the court’s deci­sion made big busi­ness very, very happy as it may mean the end of the class action lawsuit.

*The 5:4 deci­sion breaks down into 5 con­ser­v­a­tive male  jus­tices against 3 lib­eral female jus­tices and one lib­eral male jus­tice. Ugh.

News & opin­ion round-up for Wal-Mart v. Dukes

I’ve extracted quotes from each story where the author sum­ma­rizes how Scalia and the major­ity jus­ti­fied this ruling:

In the Wal-Mart case, the court wrote that the plain­tiffs had not demon­strated that Wal-Mart had any nation­wide poli­cies or prac­tices that dis­crim­i­nated against women,” accord­ing to Steven Green­house for the New York Times. Read the full story here.

In the world depicted by Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts, and Kennedy, sys­temic dis­crim­i­na­tion only exists when writ­ten down or with a dis­tinct pol­icy, which in today’s lawyered world is an exceed­ingly high stan­dard,” explains Jezebel’s Irin Carmon.

The major­ity “…accepted Wal-Mart’s argu­ment that the female employ­ees in dif­fer­ent jobs at 3,400 dif­fer­ent stores nation­wide and with dif­fer­ent super­vi­sors do not have enough in com­mon to be lumped together in a sin­gle class-action law­suit,” reports James Vicini for Reuters News.

The major­ity believes “…that a class of 1.5 mil­lion plain­tiffs was just too big for evi­dence of gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion to be ‘com­mon’ to all of them — one of the basic require­ments in a class action law­suit,” accord­ing to Joanne Bam­berger for the Huff­in­g­ton Post.

The major­ity con­cluded that, “the alle­ga­tions against Wal-Mart were too vague and the evi­dence too weak to estab­lish the com­mon injury essen­tial to encom­pass all 1.6 mil­lion women employed since 1998 in the roughly 3,400 U.S. Wal-Mart stores,” writes Jess Bravin and Ann Zim­mer­man for the Wall Street Journal.

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One Response to “Once again, we find ourselves trying to figure out what the hell Antonin Scalia is saying”

  1. Pingback: Wal-Mart ruling spurs Democratic lawmakers to reintroduce Equal Rights Amendment | HerLinked

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