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High Court Limits Wal-Mart Discrimination Case: Transcript

Publication Date: 
June 21, 2011

Professor Joe Grunfest spoke with NPR Correspondent Nina Totenberg about the WalMart v. Dukes ruling and why he thinks these types of lawsuits may have better luck going forward in state courts.

The U.S. Supreme court has reshuffled the deck in civil rights litigation, throwing out the largest sex discrimination lawsuit in U.S. history. In jettisoning a case brought by 1.5 million women against Wal-Mart, the Court, by a 5-to-4 vote sent a clear message: bringing class action employment discrimination cases will be much more difficult in the future. NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg reports.


JOSEPH GRUNDFEST (Stanford University Law Professor): If you can get sufficient victories in sufficiently large and populous states, you can actually create a situation where a de facto national standard evolves simply because you have to do business in large commercially important jurisdictions.