Is the law of our land gender-neutral? And might the gender of the justices handling a case — as in the case of the gargantuan and complex sexual discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart under consideration at the U.S. Supreme Court — impact important legal decisions?

These are questions many people might have hunches about but could find hard to prove, which sounds a lot like what Team SCOTUS is grappling with in deliberating about the main point of the Wal-Mart suit. As The Associated Press reported Wednesday, some justices see the problem to be less about proving that discrimination against female employees occurred on a large scale and more about the scale issue itself.

However, as Bloomberg noted after Tuesday’s action at the Supreme Court, a pattern seemed to emerge along gendered lines within the lineup of justices — coincidence? –KA


A gender gap emerged at the U.S. Supreme Court as the court’s three female justices tussled with their male colleagues over a nationwide discrimination suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan all voiced at least qualified support yesterday for the class-action suit, which claims women across the country were victimized by Wal-Mart’s practice of letting local managers make subjective decisions about pay and promotions. The dispute marks the first gender-bias case the court has considered with three women on the bench.

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