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Hibbs as a Federalism Case; Hibbs as a Maternal Wall Case

Joan C. Williams

... It is hard to say what is more amazing about United States Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist's opinion in Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs: that it affirmed a Ninth Circuit decision; that it supported a worker's rights against his employer; or that it departed from the Court's line of federalism decisions by siding with the federal government instead of with the states. ... Hibbs, while truly startling as a federalism case, fits well into the trend of successful maternal wall cases. ... The specific family value involved is the norm of parental care: the widespread and uncontroversial sense that children need and deserve time with their parents. ... Also striking given the Court's focus on gender discrimination is the fact that Hibbs did not involve stereotyping of women: it involved a man who wished to take six months off his job and still stay employed.
  • Print Location Joan Williams, Hibbs as a Federalism Case; Hibbs as a Maternal Wall Case, 73 U. Cin. L. Rev. 365, (2004).

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