Domestic Violence Double-Bind
Under New Hampshire law, police are required to arrest and hold until arraignment anyone accused of violating a domestic protective order. So when a Farmington, New Hampshire woman charged her estranged husband with making harassing phone calls, police had no choice but to book him — even though the alleged abuser is blind, uses a wheelchair, and is on dialysis.”Police had to wait three hours for an ambulance to bring [him] to the jail, but the jail wouldn’t hold him because of potential liability.”
Source: Manchester Union Leader (February 25, 2002) (via Overlawyered.com)
Isolated Incidents of Back-Rubbing Not Unlawful
The Seventh Circuit ruled on February 27, 2002 that a female police officer’s complaint of sexual harassment, in which she claimed that her male supervisor rubbed her back on several occasions, was properly dismissed as it presented no genuine issue of triable fact. Emphasizing that not all incidents which a plaintiff views as subjectively offensive rise to the level of unlawful sex discrimination, the Seventh Circuit ruled that in this case no objective person could view the back-rubbing incidents as creating a hostile or abusive work environment.
Source: Hilt-Dyson v. City of Chicago, D.N. 01-2095 (via Findlaw.com) (http://laws.lp.findlaw.com/7th/012095.html)
Judge Rules on Army Promotions
A federal judge has held unconstitutional the Army’s officer promotion process, which considers past bias against women and minorities as a factor in determining who is to be promoted.Because promotion boards are not also required to consider whether there has been discrimination against white men, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that the system “undeniably establishes a preference in favor of one race or gender over another, and therefore is unconstitutional.” The Army had described the promotion procedure, adopted in 1993 but revised in 1999, as one of the “equal opportunity” policies that have resulted in more diversity within its overall ranks than in the private workforce.
The ruling was made in a lawsuit filed by a retired lieutenant colonel, Raymond Saunders, who argued that he was twice passed over for promotion to full colonel because he is a white man. A trial will decide whether Saunders was discriminated against and is due compensation.
Source: The Boston Globe (March 6, 2002)
Man Sues Over “Take Your Daughter to Work Day”
A California man has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, contending that the county’s support of “Take Our Daughters to Work Day” discriminates against boys. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, former substitute teacher Joe Manthey claims that 60 girls participated in special programs and lunch last April as part of a workday event put on by the county’s Commission on the Status of Women, a group appointed by and overseen by the supervisors. Manthey’s attorney says his client is not seeking any monetary damages but only an order that the county cease supporting the girls-only workday.
Source: Santa Rosa Pressdemocrat.com (March 5, 2002) (via free-market.net)
The Five Million Dollar Flasher
A Southwest Texas University student who bared her breasts at a wet T-shirt contest in Mexico over spring break 2000 has won a $5 million default judgment against the makers of a Wild Party Girls video who used the resulting topless picture of her in its promotions. She continues to pursue a lawsuit against the E! cable network for airing the “Too Hot for TV” ads with her image.
Source: Overlawyered.com (March 6, 2002)
Divorce, American Style
Just when we thought the no-fault divorce system couldn’t get any worse, now comes CompleteCase.com, a Seattle-based page that allow couples seeking quick and easy divorce to simply log on, fill in the blanks and “presto!” The marriage is over. The founder claims that response has been “overwhelmingly good.”
Source: WorldNetDaily (March 1, 2002) (via freemarket.net)