SEX DISCRIMINATION SLIDES. Definitions of Key Terms. SEX: Identification of being either male or female. Some types of activities involving sex related parts of the body (e.g. Former President Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman.” GENDER Same as definition #1 of sex
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Actions that treat males and females differently
In Commentaries on the Laws of England, Blackstone wrote:
Justice Bradley wrote in his concurring opinion:
“...the civil law, as well as nature herself, has always recognized a wide difference in the respective spheres and destines of man and woman. Man is, or should be, woman's protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life. The constitution of the family organization, which is founded in the divine ordinance, as well as in the nature of things, indicates the domestic sphere as that which properly belongs to the domain and functions of womanhood.”
Note how Justice Bradley dealt with the fact that not all women choose to be wives and/or mothers.
19th amendment was ratified in 1920
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
TEST USED: Not clear
Is it a violation of the due process clause of the 5th amendment for the armed services to require Frontiero to prove her husband was dependent upon her for more than half his support before she could qualify for extra “dependents benefits?” YES (8-1) [Rehnquist was sole dissenter]
JUSTIFICATION FOR STRICT SCRUTINY:
JUSTIFICATION FOR RATIONAL BASIS:
Justice Powell’s opinion rejects use of strict scrutiny and applies rational basis because
ALLEGED NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES:
Is it a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment for Oklahoma to discriminate on the basis of sex with respect to the purchase of alcoholic beverages? YES (7-2)
SUPPORTERS OF NEW TEST:
A male that was denied admission to the Univ. nursing program challenged the legality of the state operating single-sex schools.
It is a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment for a state to maintain single-sex institutions of higher learning.
It is a violation of the 14th amendment equal protection clause for a state to operate single sex colleges or universities when there are no comparable programs at other state colleges and universities that are open to the members of the other sex.
Heightened Scrutiny test. Disc. against males based on gender.
It is not a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment for a state to hold the male participant criminally liable for having sexual intercourse with a girl under 18 without also making the female participant criminally liable. (5-4)
Did it violate the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment for Massachusetts to give military veterans preferences for government jobs? NO
It is not a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment for a state to give statutory preferences to military veterans in hiring for government jobs.
TEST USED: Rational basis
Used because the discrimination was based on status of being veteran--not on basis of sex.
Quid pro quo
Hostile work environment
What was the rationale for the court’s decision?
To what extent should the employer be held legally responsible for the actions of its employees if the company has policies against sexual harassment and the actions of the offending employee was in violation of the company’s policy?
Did the District Court apply the correct standard for determining liability? NO (7-2)
In Harris v. Forklift Systems (1993), the Supreme Court ruled that when interpreting whether a "hostile work environment" exists under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the plaintiff:
As in negligence law, great discretion is left to jury to determine what was "reasonable" under the circumstances.