Last week, we studied civil liberties, which is about your rights as an individual.
Civil Rights concerns protecting people from discrimination because of their inclusion in some sort of group or class – race, religion, etc.
Sometimes, at least today, civil rights seems like a pretty simple concept. It’s illegal (and wrong) to deny somebody a job simply because they’re black, or refuse to rent someone an apartment because they’re Jewish. Sometimes, though, it gets more complicated.
Abercrombie and Fitch sells clothes, but what they really sell is a certain style. They sell the illusion that wearing A&F clothes will make your life more like their magazine ads.
Samantha Elauf is a practicing Muslim, wearing a traditional head scarf to her job interview with A&F. The company declined to hire her, saying her scarf clashed with the company’s “Look Policy,” or dress code, which it describes as “classic East Coast collegiate style.”
Can a company do that? Is it discrimination?
For this assignment, read a case called “EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch Stores, Inc.”
Write a 2 – 5 page essay about it. Among other things, tell your reader:
1. The basic facts of the case.
2. What the majority decided, and why.
3. What a concurring opinion is, and the point Justice Thomas was trying to make in his.
4. Should there be any limits? If a Hasidic Jew wants to work at Hooter’s, or an Amish woman wants to be a Houston Rockets Power Dancer, would the same rules apply?
5. If you were on the Supreme Court, how would you have ruled, and why?
Submit in Word. Cite your sources.
As always, I like the Cornell Law School site (https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/14-86) for cases, but you can use the Supreme Court’s site instead: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/slipopinion/14
As always, the New York Times has a great article about the case: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/us/supreme-court-rules-in-samantha-elauf-abercrombie-fitch-case.html?_r=0
The Wall Street Journal weighs in: http://www.wsj.com/articles/supreme-court-sides-with-muslim-abercrombie-job-applicant-over-head-scarf-1433170999
As always, the SCOTUS blog is a great source of information: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/equal-employment-opportunity-commission-v-abercrombie-fitch-stores-inc/