Can Paula Deen Piggyback on SCOTUS’ Prop. 8 Ruling?
In an unlikely turn of events, celebrity chef Paula Deen, who has been at the center of extreme controversy and criticism for the last two weeks after admitting to using the N-word in the past, is citing the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision to eliminate California’s anti-gay Proposition 8 to defend herself against an ex-employee who is suing her for discrimination, Think Progress reports.
Deen filed a notice with the federal court on Tuesday, suggesting that the court should dismiss the lawsuit against her because the High Court struck down Prop. 8 last week. The Justices explained, "for a federal court to have authority under the Constitution to settle a dispute, the party before it must seek a remedy for a personal and tangible harm."
Lisa Jackson, a former worker at one of Deen’s restaurants, filed a federal racial harassment complaint last against the cook and her brother Earl "Bubba" Hires. Jackson alleges the siblings subjected her to racial harassment and hostile work environment by making racist comments about the restaurant’s African-American employees, E! Online reports.
When it got out that Deen admitted to using the N-word and made racist jokes in the past, her butter sandwich food empire started to crumble -- Food Network and numerous of the Southern chef’s sponsors dropped her, though her cookbook sales sky rocketed, and she became fodder for social media and late night television shows.
Deen and her lawyers are using the Prop. 8 ruling to claim that Jackson "cannot bring a race discrimination suit alleging animus against African-Americans because she is not personally injured by racism directed at people of another race," Think Progress writes. Jackson does, however, have biracial nieces.
The website also reports that Deen’s filing is not unusual, but it is ironic that the cook is using a ruling that eliminated a discriminatory law to defend herself from discrimination allegations.
Check out Deen apologizing for her actions on the "Today" show below: