Scalito: Beyond anti-choice

In addition to his indefensible opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Scalito’s record is chock-full of information that should make every woman in America shudder. Happy Halloween:
Gender Discrimination
Alito has ruled in favor of a plaintiff in a sex discrimination case only once. In most instances, Alito issued opinions that made it far more difficult for victims of discrimination to get to court and prove their cases. In one sexual harassment case, Robinson v. City of Pittsburgh, a police officer filed a complaint that her supervisor was “unhooking her bra, snapping her bra strap, touching her hair and ears, telling her ‘you stink pretty,’ making comments about the size of her breasts…” The police chief took no action, and Robinson sued. Alito ruled that there was insufficient evidence that the chief knew of the harassment, even though Robinson had filed a report. (Alito issued similar opinions in Sheridan v. DuPont and Watson v. SEPTA.) Alito also struck down the anti-harassment policy of the State College Area School District in Saxe v. State College Area Sch. Dist. He wrote that “There is no categorical ‘harassment exception’ to the First Amendment’s free speech clause.” In other words, “harassment is protected speech!
Family Leave
In 2000, Alito struck down portions of the Family and Medical Leave Act that would have allowed state employees to sue their states for failure to provide them with time off to care for family members. Alito wrote that a state’s refusal to provide family leave has no greater impact on women than on men. (Chittester v. Dept. of Cmty. and Econ. Dev.) When the Supreme Court addressed the issue in 2003, it took the opposite position: that the FMLA does remedy historic discrimination against women, and state employees should be allowed to sue their employers for failure to comply.
Violence Against Women
Alito ruled that female public-schoool students who were physically and sexually abused by fellow students in class could not sue the state, because the state has no special duty in caring for them. (D.R. v. Middle Bucks Area Vocational Tech. School) Alito also participated in a panel holding that the Violence Against Women Act allows a court to order HIV/AIDS testing of a sexual assault defendant. (United States v. Ward)
For more on Scalito’s record:
People for the American Way, Legal Momentum, Alliance for Justice and Legal Times.
UPDATE: Is That Legal? has the White House-approved responses to criticism of Alito’s record. (via LiberalOasis)

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