Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2002

Abstract

This Article argues that the Supreme Court's recent disparate treatment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 represent a trend toward unifying all civil rights law under an approach most closely akin to traditional equity. This trend explains the curious tension between substance and process in the Court's most recent decisions, St. Mary's Honor Center v. Hicks and Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing. It also explains the Court's uncommon confidence in its yet undefined notions of what constitutes discrimination on the basis of the several protected categories recognized in Title VII and related statutes. The trend toward equity reveals that the Court regards any precise definition of discrimination “because of the categories” as unnecessary, as it views the law of employment discrimination as applicable only to egregious cases. The perils of this approach are outlined, its necessity rebutted, and an alternative offered in succeeding sections.

Publication Citation

53 Mercer L. Rev. 709 (2002).