Yet Another Hurdle For Women In Law | SCOTUS Rejects West Point Case, Passing On Revisiting 70-Year-Old Precedent
May 4, 2021
I'M EVERY WOMAN|
Sarah Isgur writes in POLITICO Magazine about how the Supreme Court helps keep American law white and male. Anyone graduating from top law schools and hoping to join the ranks of constitutional lawyers, judges and scholars is expected to complete not just one, but multiple lower-level clerkships before hoping to clerk at SCOTUS. Isgur writes, “In a process that already favored the wealthy and well-connected, this new hurdle may make it even harder for women who want to have children and those that take on substantial law school debt to make it into the upper echelons of the legal world.” Isgur wonders, “What happens to the legal profession when there are even fewer individuals filling these federal clerkships and when a process that already advantaged young men from wealthy families has even the best-qualified women calling me to ask me whether it’s worth it? Not every female lawyer, of course, wants to have children. And not every female lawyer wants to clerk at the Supreme Court. But shouldn’t both at least be an option?”
TIME TO CIRCLE BACK|
The Supreme Court yesterday turned down an attempt by a former West Point cadet to sue the military academy’s leadership over her sexual assault. Robert Barnes with The Washington Post reports, “It was the latest unsuccessful plea to justices to revisit a 70-year-old court precedent that restricts lawsuits against the government when the alleged injuries arise from military service.” JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS wrote in a lone dissent that it’s time for the court to take another look at this longstanding doctrine.
Jessica Gresko with the Associated Press also reviews the Supreme Court’s decision to reject an appeal from a woman who says she was raped as a West Point cadet. It was the second time in as many years, Gresko notes, that JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS called for his colleagues to revisit the 70-year-old precedent that prevents members of the military from suing the United States when they are injured while doing their duties. “Under our precedent, if two Pentagon employees—one civilian and one a servicemember—are hit by a bus in the Pentagon parking lot and sue, it may be that only the civilian would have a chance to litigate his claim on the merits,” Thomas wrote in a 3-page dissent.
BUMP THAT NOISE|
SCOTUS yesterday also declined to take up a challenge to Maryland’s ban on bump stocks and other devices that make guns fire faster. The AP notes, “Maryland’s ban preceded a nationwide ban on the sale and possession of bump stocks that was put in place by the Trump administration and took effect in 2019. The Supreme Court previously declined to stop the Trump administration from enforcing that ban. Both Maryland’s ban and the nationwide one followed a 2017 shooting in Las Vegas in which a gunman attached bump stocks to assault-style rifles he used to shoot concertgoers from his hotel room. Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds were injured.”