Yesterday’s New York Times had one piece of excellent lawsuit news and a weird opinion piece that sneered condescendingly, seemingly at the excellent news.
Here’s the news, nicely encapsulated in the link: Women File New Class-Action Bias Case Against Wal-Mart – NYTimes.com.
A speedy four months after the usual five Supremes downed a women’s class action suit against Wal-Mart (“Scalia said the case involved ‘literally millions of employment decisions,’ [and that the plaintiffs] were required to point to ‘some glue holding the alleged reasons for all those decisions together'”), the plaintiffs’ lawyers came back with the glue.
Good. Yet in the same NYT a law professor at Stanford (didn’t I warn you about Stanford’s swing to the right?), Richard Thompson Ford, offered a smug, condescending opinion on such lawsuits, in “Moving Beyond Civil Rights.”
Ford’s contention is, in essence: all these wonderful civil rights movements and lawsuits have so succeeded in eliminating “social injustices”… WE DON’T NEED TO SUE ANYMORE!
What do we need? Well, “comprehensive solutions.” And what are these comprehensive solutions? Hm. I’m not too sure. General rules about being fair, being nice to each other. I think that’s what he’s proposing.
He’s vague and almost conscientiously pleasant and sort of stupid, as if he thinks he’ll soothe us into nodding off. But then he wakes you up with a know-it-all statement about our “federal bench that has grown increasingly hostile to civil rights over the past three decades, [and] that’s unlikely to change.” And “The progressive jurisprudence of the 1960s was an aberration; a reactionary judiciary was the historical norm in American history from Reconstruction through the New Deal.”
So I guess civil rights lawyers should give up, accept Ford’s notion that what he labels as the “norm” is immutable, and take up another specialty, like, I dunno. Corporate law? Teaching at Stanford?
And the rest of us depressed plaintiffs should bow our heads in submission: nothing progressive will come off the Great Court Bench in our lifetimes.
I think this guy is a sneak, a 21st century Lord Haw Haw attempting to demoralize us. What he’s laying out in NYT print is the right-wing’s idea of an “intellectual” underpinning for their war to re-install a pre-20th century patriarchic oligarchy in the United States.