Court Grants Filing Of Amicus Brief In The Paula Jones Case
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dulles NOW Chapter
July 16, 1998
The St Louis 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted Dulles NOW's request to file an Amicus Curiae (friend-of-the-court) in support of Paula Jones' appeal. Oral arguments have also been granted, a most unusual move on friend-of-the-court's motion.
Believing that Judge Wright took a pinched view of the facts and misapplied the law when she dismissed the case on April 1, Dulles NOW's decision to file was further guided by the public comments sexual harassment legal scholar Catherine MacKinnon has made. the Court erred, she said, because "existing Law" could have supported the conclusion that a sexually hostile environment had been created for Ms. Jones and sustained the "nature and kind of damage" she alleged.
In addition, Dulles NOW was very concerned that the lower Court signaled to male employers everywhere
that sexually harassing employees is permitted as long as minor adjustments to their work conditions are eventually made or that the absurd notion that one is entitled to a "free sexual harassment hit" as long as
"no" is taken for an answer be taken seriously. These positions were reinforced by recent Supreme Court decisions which reaffirmed its unequivocal intention to eliminate this form of discrimination from the workplace.
While the filing reflects Dulles NOW's well-known commitment to the civil rights of all women under Title VII regardless of political or religious beliefs, the
Chapter acted as a friend of the court essentially because of the historic nature of the appeal and as a tribute to the historic role the organization played in the later part of the twentieth Century.
May our gesture remind, and guide, future generations of feminists, here and abroad, that it was the Paula Jones case which revealed that the once proud National Organization for Women could not sustain the inspiring visions it embedded in its 1966 Statement of Purpose, befell by the structural inefficiency and antidemocratic policies that brought to power a cynical, morally bankrupt and politically compromised national leadership which therefore ensured its demise.