The Civil Rights Act was passed with the noble intention of eliminating discrimination and disparity between men an women, and between races and religions. However, the unintended side effect has been the steady erosion of Men’s Rights.
The Supreme Court has played a central role in continuing to expand women’s rights while doing little for Men. Below is a history of some of the major Supreme Court decisions which have expanded women’s rights in virtually every area from employment, divorce, education and law enforcement, thus paving the way for more litigation against Men.
See how the cases go progressively from well meaning to getting outright hostile towards Men. Who on the Supreme Court will actually stand up for Men? It has become politically expedient to support women’s rights on virtually every issue, while important issues affecting men are ignored.
1971 – Phillips v. Martin Marietta. The Supreme Court rules that an employer violates Title VII when it refuses to hire women with young children while hiring men who are similarly situated.
1973 – Pittsburg Press v. Pittsburg Commission on Human Relations. The Supreme Court holds that employers’ use of sex-segregated “Male Help Wanted” and “Female Help Wanted” columns and newspaper’ publication of these columns is illegal because sex-segregated columns enable employers to express unlawful gender preferences.
1974 – Kahn v. Shevin. The Supreme Court holds that a Florida statute granting widows, but not widowers, an annual five hundred dollar exemption from property taxes is constitutional because the purpose of the statute is to close the gap between men and women’s economic situations.
1974 – Corning Glass v. Brennan. The Supreme Court for the first time considers an Equal Pay Act claim based on an employer paying women less than men. Court finds that wage differences paid to Corning’s female day inspectors violates the Equal Pay Act.
1975 – Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur. The Supreme Court holds that it is unconstitutional for public employers to require women to take unpaid maternity leaves after the first trimester of pregnancy because of a conclusive presumption that pregnant women are no longer able to work, since such policies impinge on women’s due process rights.
1975 – Stanton v. Stanton. The Supreme Court rules that a law setting the age of majority for women at eighteen and for men at twenty-one, is unconstitutional.
1975 – Turner v. Department of Employment Security. The Supreme Court invalidates a state regulation making pregnant women ineligible for unemployment benefits for twelve weeks before birth and six weeks after the birth of the child.
1976 – Craig v. Boren. The Supreme Court adopts a “heightened scrutiny” standard of review to evaluate legal distinctions on the basis of gender, which requires that a gender-based legal distinction bear a substantial relationship to an important governmental interest.
1976 – General Electric v. Gilbert. Petitioner alleges that exclusion of pregnancy-related conditions from a private employer’s disability plan violates Title VII. Although the Court concludes that pregnancy-based discrimination is not sex discrimination, Congress will override this decision in 1978 through the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
1977 – Califano v. Goldfarb. The Supreme Court invalidates gender-based distinctions in the payment of social security survivor benefits in favor of women.
1977 – Dothard v. Rawlinson. The Supreme Court invalidates Alabama’s height and weight requirement for prison guards, finding that the requirements have the unintended consequence of excluding female candidates from work as prison guards.
1977 – Nashville Gas Co. v. Satty. The Supreme Court finds that an employer’s policy of denying accumulated seniority to female employees returning from pregnancy leave violates Title VII.
1978 – Los Angeles Department of Water v. Manhart. The Supreme Court rules that requiring female workers to make larger pension fund contributions than their male counterparts violates Title VII.
1979 – Duren v. Missouri. The Supreme Court rules that a state statute exempting women from jury duty upon their request is unconstitutional because it violates a defendant’s right under the sixth and fourteenth amendment to be tried by a jury drawn from a fair cross section of the community. (Ironically, this law was challenged by Women’s Rights Project because they believed it was designed to dismiss more women from a jury pool).
1979 – Orr v. Orr. The Supreme Court invalidates statutes providing that husbands, but not wives, may be required to pay alimony upon divorce and thus casts off the assumption that wives are dependent on their husbands for financial support but husbands are never dependent on their wives. (Rare win for Men’s Rights).
1979 – Califano v. Westcott. The Supreme Court invalidates a program for unemployment benefits under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, because the program provided benefits to families with unemployed fathers, but not those with unemployed mothers.
1980 – Wengler v. Druggists Mutual Insurance Co. The Supreme Court strikes down a state law denying widowers worker’s compensation benefits upon the work related deaths of their wives. (Rare win for Men’s Rights).
1981 – Kirchberg v. Feenstra. The Supreme Court invalidates a law that gives the husband the right to dispose of community property without the wife’s consent.
1981 – County of Washington v. Gunther. The Supreme Court holds that women can show illegal gender-based wage discrimination under Title VII when no member of the opposite sex holds a nearly identical job.
1981 – Rostker v. Goldberg. The Supreme Court holds that mandatory draft registration for men only does not violate the Constitution.
1982 – Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan. The Supreme Court rules that it is unconstitutional for a state to provide a women’s only nursing school.
1983 – Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock v. EEOC. The Supreme Court holds that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act establishes that discrimination based on a woman’s pregnancy, is, on its face, discrimination because of sex. On a positive note, the case was brought by a male employees who claimed that their employer’s health plan which covered pregnancy-related services for female employees more fully than for spouses of male employees, discriminates on the basis of sex.
1984 – Roberts v. United States Jaycees. The Supreme Court upholds a state law striking down Jaycee’s (a training and civic organization’s) policy of excluding women under a state public accommodations laws.
1984 – Hishon v. King & Spalding. The Supreme Court finds that law firm partnerships are “employers”, subject to Title VII sex discrimination laws that requires the law firms to consider women for partnership.
1986 – Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson. The Supreme Court holds that sexual harassment that creates a hostile environment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII.
1987 – California Federal Savings & Loan Association v. Guerra. The Court holds that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act does not prohibit practices favoring pregnant women and that the employers must abide by these conditions.
1987 – Johnson v. Transportation Agency, Santa Clara. In this title VII case brought by a male employee who was passed over for promotion in favor of a female employee with a lower test score, the Supreme Court holds than an employer can take sex into account in such situations if it does so pursuant to an affirmative action plan meant to remedy under representation of women in the work force.
1990 – University of Pennsylvania v. EEOC. Female Wharton Business School professor alleges that she was passed over for tenure based on sex discrimination. The Supreme Court holds that universities have no common law or First Amendment privilege to withhold peer review materials relevant to charges of race or sexual discrimination in tenure decisions.
1991 – United Auto Workers v Johnson Controls. The Supreme Court holds that Title VII prevents an employer from adopting fetal protection policies preventing pregnant women from working in jobs that entail exposure to lead or other toxins. The case holds that women must be allowed to make their own decisions about pregnancy and dangerous work.
1992 – Franklin v. Gwinnet County Public Schools. The Supreme Court holds that Title IX supports a claim for monetary damages when female student bring a claim that she was sexually harassed and abused by her teacher and coach and that the school did nothing to stop it.
1993 – Harris v. Forklift Systems. The Supreme Court holds that a person does not have to prove psychological damage in order to prevail in a sexual harassment suit, but can win based on evidence of conduct that would reasonably be perceived to be hostile and sexually abusive.
1996 – United States v. Virginia. The Supreme Court rules that the all male Virginia Military Institute’s all male admission policy violates women’s equal protection rights. The Court orders the school to admit women or forfeit its government funding.
1998 – Burlington Industries v. Ellerth. The Supreme Court rules that an employer is automatically subject to a vicarious liability for an actionable hostile work environment created by a supervisor when tangible employment action is taken.
1998 – Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District. The Supreme Court holds that under Title IX, a school is liable for damages when a school official with knowledge of the teacher’s harassment and authority to take corrective action acts with deliberate indifference to the teacher’s conduct.
1999 – Kolstad v. American Dental Association. In this sex discrimination case, the Supreme Court holds that a court may grant punitive damages to a woman alleging discrimination in violation of Title VII even if she does not show that the employer’s conduct was “egregious” or “outrageous”. She must only show that the employer acted with malice or reckless indifference to the lawfulness of his action.
2000 – Reeves v. Sandeson Plumbing Products, Inc. The Supreme Court holds that in some instances a jury may find gender discrimination in violation of Title VII based on evidence that the reasons an employer gives for an employment decision are untrue, even in the absence of any direct evidence of discrimination.
2001 – Ferguson v. City of Charleston. In this case involving a South Carolina hospital that tests pregnant women for substance abuse and reports positive results to the police, the Court holds that pregnant women cannot be subject to warrantless searches simply because they are pregnant and test positive for illegal drugs.
2001 – Nguyen v. INS. The Supreme Court strikes down an immigration law which automatically deems out of wedlock children born overseas to be the United States states citizens when their mothers are citizens, but requires affirmative steps acknowledging paternity before the child is 18 to establish the child’s citizenship if only the father is a citizen. (Rare win for Men’s Rights).
2003 – Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs. The Supreme Court holds that the Family Medical Leave Act guarantees 12 weeks of unpaid leave to all employees, regardless of their gender. (Rare win for Men’s Rights).
2003 – Desert Palace, Inc. v. Costa. The Supreme Court holds that direct evidence of sex discrimination is not required for a plaintiff to present a case to a jury as a “mixed motive” case.
2004 – Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders. The Supreme Court holds that when a plaintiff has been forced to quit her job by an official act of an employer, an employer may not defend against a Title VII hostile environment claim by showing that it took reasonable steps to prevent and correct any sexually harassing behavior, and that the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of opportunities to prevent harm.
2006 – Davis v. Washington and Hammon v. Indiana. These cases involve domestic violence prosecutions in which the women alleged to be victims of domestic violence did not testify and the prosecutors relied on hearsay out of court statements by women. The Supreme Court held that these statements were admissible since they were made in the course of seeking 911 assistance.
2006 – Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White. Female plaintiff white was claimed that her employer retaliated against her in violation of Title VII because she made a sex discrimination complaint. The Supreme Court held that indefinite suspension without pay is retaliation that would reasonably deter any employee from making a discrimination complaint and is therefore illegal.
2009 – Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School Committee. The Supreme Court rules that parents may sue for sex discrimination in schools under both Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause. The case brought by parents whose kindergartener was sexually harassed on the school bus, establishes that individual teachers and administrators, as well as institutions, may be liable for sex discrimination in education.
2009 – Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville. The Supreme Court holds that Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision protects employees who speak out about sexual harassment when answering questions during an employer’s internal investigation of a coworker’s complaint.
2010 – Thompson v. N. American Stainless. The Court holds that an employee who claims he was fired because his fiancée filed a sex discrimination charge with the EEOC could sue under the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII.
2011 – Flores-Villar v. I.N.S.. The Supreme Court allows to stand, without issuing an opinion, a nationality law that makes it more difficult for fathers to transmit U.S. citizenship to their children than mothers.
2015 – Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. The Supreme Court holds that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, or PDA, requires employers to provide pregnant employees with the same on-the-job accommodations, such as light duty, that they do to other non-pregnant employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. Significantly, the Court rules that an employer may not cite the cost or convenience of providing such accommodations as reasons for denying them.