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Schlesinger v. Ballard


Schlesinger v. Ballard touched peripherally on the volatile subjects of women in combat and of the principle behind affirmative action--that is, the application of differing sets of rules to different groups of people in order to attain a level playing field. The Court's decision in Schlesinger, to uphold statutes which provided different rules of tenure for men and women, signaled a willingness on the Court's part to accept certain types of discrimination inasmuch as the intent was to establish greater fairness. It was difficult, from a feminist perspective, to agree on the ultimate meaning of Schlesinger. On the one hand, the ruling helped to ensure greater opportunities for women; on the other, to some it seemed based on an underlying view of women as "the weaker sex."

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Schlesinger v. Ballard - Significance, Lieutenant Ballard Receives A Mandatory Discharge, Frontiero And Reed Offer A Guide--and A Contrast