In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that sexual harassment and stalking can’t be punished as crimes, even if the behavior is so vile that it is considered to be a crime in itself.
The decision in Lawrence v.
Texas, by a 6-3 vote, sets the stage for an increasingly expansive definition of “sexual harassment” that will be used in cases involving college students.
The ruling could also have wider implications for other professions and industries, including the law, where many workers are under a heightened obligation to avoid being subject to sexual harassment or abuse.
The case centered on a University of Texas fraternity, Kappa Delta Theta, that had been under investigation for sexual misconduct since 2012.
A year after the investigation was closed, the fraternity was accused of sexually harassing an undergraduate, Jessica Ahlquist.
When the university found out about the allegations, it launched an internal investigation, which resulted in the expulsion of a dozen members and the resignation of another.
A few months later, Ahlquer sued the university, claiming sexual harassment.
The university agreed to settle with Ahlquez and the fraternity for $10 million, and it’s expected to file a lawsuit against the fraternity’s former leader, the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
While the U of T has yet to make a decision on its lawsuit, the decision in the case, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, sets a precedent that will likely lead to more lawsuits in the future.
“This is the most significant case on the merits that I think I’ve ever seen,” said Stephen Gilligan, a lawyer who specializes in sexual harassment cases.
“It sets a high bar for any civil litigation to succeed, and I think that will have a very powerful effect on civil rights law.”
The court, which is composed of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, said it decided that sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment under the federal criminal code.
In determining whether the conduct was so vile as to be considered a crime, the court said the university was required to consider the seriousness of the harassment, its seriousness and the victim’s desire to avoid retaliation.
“The University of Virginia, as a public university, is required to conduct a fair and objective investigation, to make findings of fact and to take reasonable measures to prevent and punish the offending conduct,” Kennedy wrote.
“Sexual harassment is conduct that has a substantial likelihood of creating a hostile or intimidating work environment.”
The decision also says that universities must provide employees with the opportunity to speak out against harassment and sexual assault and to report it to the university’s Title IX office.
In cases where the harassment is not criminal, universities must also provide employees a forum for victims to come forward and for the university to take affirmative action to address the issue.
The court said universities must make clear that victims have the right to be heard, and that they are not protected from being fired for their complaints.
“When a victim of sexual assault or harassment is provided an opportunity to share their experiences and seek assistance, and when they receive assistance, the university must provide the victim with an opportunity for them to report the harassment,” Kennedy said.
In the majority opinion, Kennedy said the burden of proof for sexual harassment lawsuits was on the accuser, and the accused had to prove “that the conduct complained about was a pervasive, pervasive, and pervasive pattern of conduct that made the accused aware of the gravity of the harm and the seriousness or probability of such harm.”
The case comes at a time when the issue of sexual misconduct in the workplace has become a contentious one in the U, where there is increasing awareness of sexual abuse and sexual harassment in the ranks of the military, the government and the private sector.
In October, President Donald Trump appointed a special counsel to investigate the culture at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where allegations of sexual violence are a growing problem.
The Trump administration has also launched a new task force to investigate how the military is handling sexual assault cases and how to prevent sexual harassment at the military.
The government also recently created a new sexual assault task force.
A federal appeals court on Monday struck down a separate sexual harassment statute that requires sexual assault accusers to go to the federal government to report allegations.
The U.K. Supreme Judicial Court in July upheld a similar statute that was signed into law by the previous British government.
The new law, the Sexual Harassment and Assault Bill, is currently under review by the U to make sure it is legal and has the required teeth.
The House of Lords also voted to make sexual harassment a crime.
But the Senate voted in September to kill the legislation, a move that was overturned by the lower chamber.
“What we’ve seen is that the British people are not buying that there’s this overwhelming appetite for a crime against sexual harassment, so the House of Commons has been doing what the Senate should be doing, which