The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the National Collegiate Athletics Association's (NCAA) receipt of federal funds through university and college dues does not make the association subject to Title IX. Title IX of the Education Acts of 1972 prohibits discrimination against girls and women in federally-funded education, including athletics programs.
In the Court's decision, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote, "At most, the association's receipt of dues demonstrates that it indirectly benefits from the federal assistance afforded its members. This showing, without more, is insufficient to trigger Title IX coverage."
The case in question was brought by former college athlete Renee Smith, who sued the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) for sex discrimination under Title IX, charging that the organization waived its eligibility requirements for men more often than it did for women. Smith was banned from university volleyball competition during graduate and law school due to an NCAA eligibility rule that prohibits graduate students from competing in athletics at colleges other than at the athlete's undergraduate institution.
The ruling concerned only whether or not the indirect receipt of federal funds made NCAA liable and did not determine that the NCAA cannot be found liable for other reasons. Smith's lawyer stated that the battle is not yet over and remains confident that a lower court will rule in Smith's favor based on other arguments.
NCAA President Cedric Dempsey stated that he was pleased with the ruling and commented, "We have consistently said that the NCAA should be in compliance with Title IX on a voluntary basis and have worked to achieve compliance."
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .