WWSWD – What Would Sam Walton Do?

The Supreme Court is due to hear this Wal-Mart sex bias lawsuit.  Any ideas on how the Court will decide. 



Filed under Diversity, Economics, Income Inequality, Jobs, The Economy, U. S. Supreme Court

12 responses to “WWSWD – What Would Sam Walton Do?

  1. As I have often stated, I don’t predict what any court will do, especially SCOTUS. That said, I’ll play the fool a bit.

    It seems to me that SCOTUS could be well w/in the Rules of Civil Procedure by denying class status. See FRCP 23 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/Rule23.htm), with special attention to be paid to the provisions of Rule 23(a)(3) and Rule 23(b). My concern is that while there may well be commonality in a broad sense, there are many “sub-classes”, if you will, with each having a commonality within the group, but one which substantially differs from the commonality shared by members of another group; the only shared commonality among the various groups being the alleged gender discrimination.

    I am aware the above makes me appear to be sympathetic to Wal-Mart; I’m not, but am attempting to provide a frame of reference to a future decision by SCOTUS that I can see favoring the defendant.

    • JEP

      ‘the only shared commonality among the various groups being the alleged gender discrimination.’

      Only? 617, we must see things from opposite perspectives, to me this represents the ultimate class action. I understand your premise, but simply disagree with the logic.

      Denying that women, especially those who share the same jobs as men but get paid less, represent an oppressed “class” ignores a few millennium of exploitation and abuse.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        My statement was overly simplistic while being accurate. The mere presence of gender discrimination as such does not a class make for the purposes of Rule 23. Within the class of women, there will be those who were paid less than men for the same duties. There will be another group whose pay was the same, but were not promoted. I’m being broad in the statements, but what commonality do the women in the first group have (as to damages, e.g.) with the second group? The remedy for the first group would be to measure the wage disparity, and award the difference. The remedy for the second group would be to arrive at a percentage who would also have been promoted, but for gender, then speculate on the value of additional benefits they would have received, chances for additional promotion, etc. Not a lot of commonality there, imho, for purposes of satisfying the provisions of Rule 23.

        The SCOTUS decision will deal with the application of Rule 23, as I’m sure you’ve concluded. That’s where I was directing my comments, perhaps not clearly.

  2. indypendent

    As I understand this (and my legal expertise is nill) – the SCOTUS first has to rule if this group of women even have the right to pursue their case – is that correct?

    • The issue before SCOTUS is whether the Ninth Circuit was correct in its holding that the action against Wal-Mart may continue as a class action as the same is presently constituted. A narrow question with extremely broad implications. There should be no decision on the merits, nor if the individual plaintiffs may proceed.

  3. JEP

    Well, the conservatives have managed to offend every other demographic but rich white folks, this will add “women” to the list of those they willingly throw under the bus to protect our current “Divine Right of Corporations” culture.

    Anyone else expecting a 5-4 decision?

    Count on it. The Corporate 5 on the Supreme Court are not likely to change their ways, especially on a case with such profound class war implications.

    I really hope I’m wrong on this one, and that at least ONE of the Corporate 5 will see the light in this case.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      It could well be 9-0, depending on how narrow the ruling; but, I think you’re correct in expecting a split decision. I’ll say 6-3.

    • I recognized the GOP wanted to throw me, along with everyone who is female, under the bus long ago. I’ve never understood how any woman possessing critical-thinking skills couldn’t have seen that fact.

  4. indypendent

    Which party overwhelmingly votes against the equal pay for women each time that issue is raised?

    Which party wants to return to the good ol’ days of the Constitution where slaves were 3/5 of a person but women did not even that high?

    Yeah, the New and Improved GOP is where I want to be – NOT……

    • indypendent

      Oh I forgot – which party tried to redefine the definition of rape?

      That one issue alone should make every woman run in the opposite direction of anything that resembles the New and Improved GOP.

  5. CapnAmerica

    The SCROTUS (Supreme Court Republicans of the United States) will deny class action status.


    Because they can. They believe that corporations have human rights but actual humans don’t.

    That’s what their paymasters want, and that’s what they’ll get.

    It’s another version of the “golden rule.”

    He who has the gold rules.

  6. G-STIR

    People are replaceable, Business is Forever! ????