SCOTUS

The news of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death at a hunting lodge in Texas on February 13th rocked the country over Valentine’s weekend. The timing and suddenness of the staunch conservative’s death during President Obama’s last year in office opens up a host of issues and questions to be resolved. Justice Scalia’s absence on the Supreme Court will affect several high profile cases, resulting in significant impacts on several different segments of the population. In losing a frequent fifth vote for the conservative end of the ideological spectrum, the Supreme Court will be left with an ideological tie of a 4-4 split between conservatives and liberals. (more…)

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court decided EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, a Title VII case involving religious discrimination. While the case did not directly involve the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the accommodation analysis could bleed into ADA cases. In particular, should employers be on the lookout for nonobvious disabilities? (more…)

On Monday, June 1, the Supreme Court decided a religious discrimination case involving Abercrombie & Fitch and the EEOC. The Court held that “[a]n employer may not make an applicant’s religious practice, confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions.” The Court also re-affirmed that to succeed on a disparate treatment discrimination claim (i.e., a discrimination claim related to a specific person), one must satisfy the motivating factor standard. The motivating factor standard requires a showing that the protected characteristic (e.g., one’s religion, race, etc.) was a “motivating factor” in the at-issue employment decision. A full copy of the Court’s opinion may be found here. (more…)

The holidays have come and gone.  I hope everyone enjoyed them, and I hope everyone received the gifts and presents they asked for.   I come from a big family—three siblings, 14 aunts and uncles, and nearly twenty cousins.  Growing up, opening presents around the holidays was a roll of the dice.  You were just as likely to receive a wool sweater with jingle bells as you were the must-have gift of the season.  If you ‘won’ the sweater, you’d wear it with a smile until mid-January, and then toss into the closet.  If you ‘won’ the must-have gift of the season, you’d play with it well into next Fall.  To this day, my Mom will tell you that the best way to judge a gift is to see how far into the next year you’re still enjoying it (i.e., how far into the next year you’re still playing with it / wearing it / riding it / using it / remembering where you last put it). (more…)