Tuesday, January 4, 2011

And they wonder why we need laws...Scalia's take on sex discrimination

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
In December, the Senate refused to allow debate on pay equity legislation. Here's why it's important to pass legislation regarding women's rights. Scalia's comments in a newly published interview in the legal magazine California Lawyer are truly disturbing.

Scalia: Women Don't Have Constitutional Protection Against Discrimination: "You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't. Nobody ever thought that that's what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don't need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box."

Marcia Greenberger, founder and co-president of the National Women's Law Center, called the justice's comments "shocking."

"In these comments, Justice Scalia says if Congress wants to protect laws that prohibit sex discrimination, that's up to them," she said. "But what if they want to pass laws that discriminate? Then he says that there's nothing the court will do to protect women from government-sanctioned discrimination against them. And that's a pretty shocking position to take in 2011." (My emphasis)

The barriers just got higher and it's time to pass the Equal Rights Ammendment.

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