Supreme Court blocks sex-discrimination suit against Wal-Mart

June 20, 2011

The Associated Press

Carol Rosenblatt of Washington, right, and others, take part in rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington.

WASHINGTON -- A Supreme Court decision blocking a massive sex-discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart may have a far-reaching effect.

It's expected to make it harder to mount large-scale bias claims against the nation's biggest companies.

The justices all agreed that the lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores on behalf of female employees cannot proceed as a class action in its current form. But the high court split 5-4 over whether the plaintiffs should get another chance to make their case.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the court's conservative majority, said there were no common elements tying the women's complaints together.

But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court's four liberal justices, said there was more than enough uniting the claims.