Tuesday, June 10, 2003

That Crazy, Right-wing Rehnquist Court! The Supremes hand down a unanimous decision worthy of the Warren Court in an employment gender bias case:
Under the law, a plaintiff need only present sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude, by a preponderance of the evidence, that sex was a motivating factor, he said. The plaintiff may use direct or circumstantial evidence. [Emphasis added.]
In English, this means, essentially, that as long as there is the appearance of a bias (hence the nod to circumstantial evidence) there need not be any actual bias. Who knows how far lower courts will go in applying this principle, but there are a lot of them loonier than the Supreme Court.

Insult to injury: Clarence Thomas, reputedly the closet libertarian on the bench, wrote for the court. Granted, employment law is his bag, particularly the discrimination stuff from his EEOC days. Still, we might as well pack the Supreme Court with the editorial board of the Nation, a couple of EEOC bureaucrats, and a lobbyist for the Trial Lawyers.

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