Could Prop 8 Ruling Help Paula Deen Get Part Of The Lawsuit Against Her Dismissed?

There is something inherently cringe-worthy and exploitative about using the logic of the recent Prop 8 ruling to attempt to dismiss Paula Deen's lawsuit.   Image @PaulaDeen.com

There is something inherently cringe-worthy and exploitative about using the logic of the recent Prop 8 ruling to attempt to dismiss Paula Deen’s lawsuit. Image @PaulaDeen.com

Paula Deen may have found a way to benefit from the recent SCOTUS ruling on Prop 8.

Prop 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban, was essentially overturned on June 26th when the Supreme Court declined to rule on the merits of the case, stating that the defendants of the ban had no legal standing. The ruling states:

“Article III of the Constitution confines the judicial power of federal courts to deciding actual ‘Cases’ or ‘Controversies.’ One essential aspect of this requirement is that any person invoking the power of a federal court must demonstrate standing to do so. In other words, the litigant must seek a remedy for a personal and tangible harm.”

Since those seeking to defend the measure were not in any way affected by it (to exclude the offense to their holier-than-thou attitudes), they had no legal leg to stand on, much less take the case to court. It is this part of the ruling upon which Deen hopes to remedy her own dire situation.

In Deen’s case, the plaintiff is, in part, alleging racial discrimination against African-Americans in the work place. This is the origin of Deen’s now infamous admission to use of the ‘N’ word. However, Jackson, the plaintiff, is white. She argues that the use of the word is highly offensive to her because of her bi-racial nieces. Attorneys for Deen and her brother ‘Bubba’ Hiers, however, say that  through the depositions in the case, it has been evidenced that  Jackson’s bi-racial nieces were actually one child related to her partner. The child is half Hispanic, and does not have a relationship with Jackson herself.

The argument is that there are no African-Americans in Jackson’s family, therefore she has no legal standing to sue for racial discrimination against blacks. So, it seems, is the logic “borrowed” from the Prop 8 ruling to seek dismissal of the part of the case alleging racial discrimination.

There is something inherently cringe-worthy and exploitative about this move. But even if Deen’s attorneys manage to get this part of the lawsuit dismissed, it will do nothing to correct the potentially irreparable damage to her brand, nor can it make her own admissions any less offensive to so many. All this effort can do is to make her look like an opportunist, the only thing left for her to be called.

If they were decent attorneys, they would have argued that Jackson had no legal standing to sue for racial discrimination before Paula went and confessed to her use of the ‘N’ word, which in turn brought all the other ugliness in the case to light. 

Perhaps it is best that Paula just disappear into that hole her attorneys seem to be digging for her and stay for a while.