The US Supreme Court agreed today to hear a case involving a former girls' basketball coach who was allegedly fired after he complained that his team received less money and were forced to use worse facilities than comparable boys' teams. The issue before the Court is whether individuals who are penalized for attempting to ensure that schools do not discriminate against women and girls are eligible to sue under Title IX, the landmark 1972 federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs.
Roderick Jackson, formerly head coach of girls’ basketball at Ensley High School in Alabama, argues that the girls’ basketball team was forced to use substandard facilities and equipment and received less money and support from the school, in comparison with the boys’ basketball team. Jackson alleges that he was fired after submitting complaints about the problem.
Jackson’s case has been rejected by lower federal courts, including the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that Title IX does not allow any specific right to sue over alleged retaliation, according to the Associated Press. The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) has taken up the case for Jackson, arguing that Supreme Court precedent holds that other broadly worded anti-discriminatory laws allow suits over alleged retaliation, even when the laws do not expressly bar retaliation. Furthermore, “the strength of our civil rights laws hinges on the willingness of citizens to expose violations,” according to Marcia Greenberger, co-President of NWLC, in a written statement. If individuals cannot seek recourse when they are penalized for protesting sex discrimination, not only would that undermine the right to be free from such discrimination, but it would also increase the prevalence of discrimination, Greenberger continued.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .