Suits Seek Gender Equality in Sports in NCAA, High Schools
Women students and their parents are bringing suits against the Michigan High School Athletics Association (MHSAA) and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) to gain compliance with Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs. In the Michigan class-action case, plaintiff Jay Roberts-Eveland claims the high school sports association denies female athletes equal facilities, scheduling, and treatment. The MHSAA argues that the association is exempt from Title IX compliance because of the organization’s non-profit status and voluntary membership. However, a recent U.S. Supreme Court determined that state athletic associations are “state actors” subject to similar constitutional requirements as other public entities.
In a related NCAA case, a female athlete is suing the NCAA for sex discrimination. The NCAA has maintained that since it does not receive federal funds, the association is not required to comply with Title IX laws, leaving it free to treat men and women’s sports inequitably. A federal judge had originally ruled in favor of the NCAA, but the plaintiff, Renee Smith, appealed on the grounds that the NCAA does receive federal funds via colleges and universities and via the National Youth Sports Fund (NYSF), both of which are supported by federal tax dollars. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Smith on the former ground, but left open the possibility that funding from NYSF would require Title IX compliance. The case will likely return to the lower courts for further examination.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .