This article analyzes two cases from the October 2006 Supreme Court Term, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Gonzales v. Carhart. The cases have much in common, even though Ledbetter concerns pay disparity claims based on gender and Gonzales concerns second trimester abortions. Both are five-four decisions which demonstrate how profoundly the appointment of Justice Samuel Alito to occupy Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's seat has affected the balance of power on the Court. The net result of this shift has been a devastating setback for women's rights. Both decisions prompted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to uncharacteristically read aloud two forceful dissents in which she outlined the development of the law governing women's equality, and admonished the Court for turning back the clock on women's rights.
This Article also briefly discusses two other cases: Winkelman v. Parma City School District, an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) case, where the Court upheld the right of parents to go to court without an attorney to challenge a school district's individualized educational plan for their children, and Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke, where the Court upheld a regulation exempting home health care attendants hired by agencies from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
23 Touro L. Rev. 855 (2008)
23 Touro L. Rev. 855