logoWustlSm  
Lee Epstein
trans
Lee Epsteing Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor
Untitled Page BEYOND LEGISLATIVE LOBBYING: WOMEN'S RIGHTS GROUPS AND THE SUPREME COURT
Published in 1983. Judicature 67: 134-143.

Karen O'Connor
Lee Epstein

While women’s rights groups have been able to attain some of their goals in the legislative sphere, their inability to secure ratification of highly visible objectives including the Equal Rights Amendment and other important “rights” legislation through conventional lobbying, allows them to be classified as “disadvantaged.” According to Richard C. Cortner, “disadvantaged” groups are wise to pursue their goals through judicial lobbying.  The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP),  for example, initially used the courts to achieve its objectives.  In contrast, women’s rights groups generally have relied heavily on legislative as opposed to judicial lobbying to achieve their goals, even though the Burger Court is receptive to claims of gender-based discrimination.

To assess whether litigation may provide an additional political strategy, this article examines the results of gender-based discrimination cases brought by women’s rights groups in the 1970s.  More specifically, we examine all 63 gender-based cases decided during the 1969 to 1980 terms of the United States Supreme Court and the groups that participated in those cases.

Click here for the article (.pdf).