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Mon Jun 10, 2019, 12:26 PM

Supreme Court will hear a major attack on anti-discrimination law

This will end badly.
Ian Millhiser Jun 10, 2019, 9:51 am

The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would hear Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, which seeks to undercut one of the country’s oldest civil rights laws.

Given the court’s Republican majority, this case is likely to end badly for civil rights plaintiffs. Though it is an open question whether the court will make a surgical cut against a particular anti-discrimination law or go so far as to nuke a major prong of American anti-discrimination litigation.

Comcast involves a cable company that allegedly refused to carry a black-owned television studio’s networks in violation of a post-Civil War statute barring race discrimination in contracts.

Companies are rarely monoliths, and when a company takes an adverse action against a person of color (or another company owned by people of color) they often have a variety of reasons for doing so. Some executives, for example, may be driven by racist motives, while others may act for legitimate business reasons. For this reason, the law permits what are known as “mixed-motive” suits, which allow civil rights plaintiffs to prevail in some cases where they face discrimination for a combination of both legitimate and illegal reasons.


Bring back the Fairness Doctrine...........................

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