The Supreme Court just released a decision that gives fair consideration … to dads. The decision came down in Sessions v. Morales-Santana (yep, that Sessions) a case that was brought by a man who was denied American citizenship, essentially due to his dad’s lack of residency in the U.S.
The catch? If his mom had lived in the U.S. for the exact same duration of time, the plaintiff would have citizenship.
The ACLU explains what judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued in her majority opinion.
“…Ginsburg, writing for the court, held that the different treatment of fathers and mothers discriminates based on sex and violates the equal protection guarantee of the U.S. Constitution. She observed that the law was enacted in an era when ‘two once habitual, but now untenable, assumptions pervaded our Nation’s citizenship laws and underpinned judicial and administrative rulings: In marriage, husband is dominant, wife subordinate; unwed mother is the natural and sole guardian of a non-marital child.’”
What you may not know about “RBG “is that she pioneered a lot of gender-equality law by suing on behalf of fathers and other men who were subject to sex discrimination. Once those cases were decided, a precedent was set that allowed women to sue for discrimination, too. It was totally brilliant.
As the ACLU’s blog post by Attorney Sandra Park explains:
“Justice Ginsburg’s decision in Sessions v. Morales-Santana builds on her legacy of ground-breaking work toward achieving gender equality. When she co-founded the ACLU Women’s Rights Project in 1972, she litigated many of the early cases establishing that laws that discriminate based on sex violate the Constitution. In all of the cases she argued before the Supreme Court, she represented men, highlighting how they and their families were harmed by laws that stereotyped men as breadwinners and women as caretakers of children.”
The case isn’t a 100% victory for various reasons explained by the ACLU, but it’s important to note that gender equality, both social and legal, means not treating men and dads based on stereotypes, either.
We all have the capacity to nurture and to be breadwinners, regardless of gender identity or expression. RBG has understood this for a long time.