In Unequal: How America’s Courts Undermine Discrimination Law (“Unequal”), law professors Sandra F. Sperino and Suja A. Thomas provide a point-by-point analysis of how the federal courts’ interpretations of federal anti-discrimination laws have undermined their efficacy to provide relief to workers whose employers have allegedly engaged in discrimination. The cases’ results are consistently pro-employer, even while the Supreme Court of the United States—a court not known for being particularly pro-plaintiff—has occasionally ruled in favor of plaintiff employees. The authors suggest some reasons for this apparent anti-plaintiff bias among the federal courts, although they do not settle on a particular reason for the courts’ frequent dismissal of these claims. Instead, the book seeks to expose how these seemingly erroneous dismissals occur and suggest avenues for reforming these legal standards.
This Review begins by describing the book’s main arguments. Throughout this description, the Review supports and at times challenges some of the authors’ positions. In particular, this Review examines arguments regarding the role politics play in the courts’ decisionmaking in employment discrimination cases. It also explores the ironic result that the courts’ approaches to these cases actually may lead to more discrimination in the workplace and therefore more cases. Finally, this Review describes the authors’ suggestions for reform and proposes that changes in this area of the law are best accomplished by the entities that created the problems—the courts.
Theresa M. Beiner,
When Courts Run Amuck: A Book Review of Unequal: How America's Courts Undermine Discrimination Law by Sandra F. Sperino and Suja A. Thomas (Oxford 2017),
Tex. A&M L. Rev.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.37419/LR.V5.I2.4
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