Bench Memos

Those Anti-Civil Rights Conservative Justices

Last week’s 9-0 decision by the Supreme Court, broadening employment discrimination law by allowing more anti-retaliation claims, shows that we were right and the Left was wrong in the confirmation fights over Roberts and Alito.  Specifically:  We said that they should and would just follow the law as written by Congress; the Left said, pshaw, they would follow their reactionary personal agendas to roll back civil-rights protections.  Last week’s majority decision may or may not be great policy, but clearly Roberts was happy to join the opinion written by Justice Breyer and also joined by six other justices because he thought it was the best interpretation of the underlying statute’s text.  Justice Alito concurred in the result but wrote separately, and his opinion—which also was favorable to plaintiff—was, likewise, carefully (in my view, perhaps more carefully) rooted in the statute’s text, just as we said it should and would be. 

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