Appeals. If any party is unhappy with a decision rendered by the District Court, that party may bring the case to a Court of Appeals. The federal Courts of Appeals are divided geographically into twelve divisions, which are called circuits. The circuits are not required to agree with each other. In the area of sexual harassment, the circuits have divided over a number of issues.
Above the Courts of Appeals is the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court decides which cases it wants to hear. Its decisions about the meaning of the law are binding on all of the Courts of Appeals and District Courts.
This book is divided into six sections. The first section explores the issue of what sexual harassment is and why it is considered to be an illegal form of sex discrimination. The next three sections explore sexual harassment as it has arisen in three contexts--the workplace, the military, and educational institutions. The fifth section deals with the ways in which the law is expanding beyond these specific areas, such as in the context of housing. The final section contains four Supreme Court decisions dealing with sexual harassment issues, which were released in 1998.
Within these sections, this volume explores the history of legal prohibitions on sexual harassment, setting forth the important cases that led to the development of the idea that sexual harassment is a legal wrong. It also focuses on current areas of controversy--such as whether same- sex sexual harassment should be illegal and whether sexual harassment law impermissibly interferes with free speech. Each section also contains bibliographical suggestions for further reading.
For assistance with this book, thanks to my student research assistants Nicole Itkin and Stacey Matthews-Maurice.