HopeTracker| In a case with massive potential fallout, the Supreme Court agreed today that it will hear two major appeals from corporate America that involve mass lawsuits. The legal arguments are focused not on culpability but whether or not class action suits involving sex discrimination against women and corporate contributions global warming can proceed to trial.
Both a federal judge and the US court of appeals in San Francisco have already cleared a lawsuit against Walmart on behalf of 1.5 million women who were employed by the giant retailer over the past decade. The laswuit argues that Walmart systematically paid women less than men and denied women promotions in its 3,400 stores.
Walmart insists that hiring decisions are made independently in each of its 3,400 stores and all discrimination cases must be litigated individually by store and perhaps down to the level of manager.
The global warming case will decide whether judges and courts can put limits on carbon emissions on the theory that this pollution is a public nuisance. Eight states, including New York, California and Connecticut, joined with environmentalists and launched a lawsuit against the power producers in the Midwest, arguing that their coal-fired plants were contributing to climate change. via LA Times
The Obama Administration and the power industry argue that emissions restrictions must come from Congress and the President, not the courts. Environmentalists and the eight states argue that Congress can’t even agree that global warming exists and is not dedicated to protecting the health of American citizens.