Friday, March 6, 2009

The Teaching Assistant

Hello all!  After a brief hiatus, we are back with a number of stories on Equal Protection and Fundamental Rights, plus one bonus story. 

Here are this week's equal protection/fundamental rights stories:

The ACLU blog contains a first hand account of a female member of the New York State National Guard.  The challenged policy required that female soliders take mandatory pregnancy tests every three months or resign from the Guard.  The good news is that the policy was changed.  The bad news is that even under the new policy, pregnant soldiers are likely to be dismissed from the Guard while pregnancy.

Feministe reports that the National Women's Law Center, while happy about the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, is still pushing for the companion legislation, the Paycheck Fairness Act.  More information can be found on the bill here

The American Constitution Society reports that legislation has been introduced in Oklahoma that would require the removal of any and all headgear - including religious headgear - prior to taking a driver's license photo.   Members of religious organizations, including Muslims and Sihks, are objecting to the law.

Finally, in executive branch news, Liza Gottein of the Brennan Center for Justice has an interesting essay on the merits of investigating the prior administration.  She distinguishes between prosecuting mere policy argreements and prosecuting law breaking.  She states:

Policy differences are a natural part of political life in this country, and we must tolerate them. Unlawful conduct by government officials, however, must never be tolerated. We currently face a real risk that recent unlawful activities will come to be viewed as mere policy preferences, due to political pressures against doing what is necessary to learn the truth. Such a result—not the criminalization of policy differences, but the politicization of unlawful conduct—would be an affront to the rule of law.

That's all for next week.  See you next time!

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