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Reagan devastated the civil rights enforcement agencies, as he pandered to the white nationalists who helped him win election. But employment discrimination law has survived and continues to be an often-effective tool against racism, misogyny, homophobia, religious hatred, and other forms of discrimination. Title VII cases and claims under parallel statutes continue to be a major part of the caseload in federal courts. Because the Civil Rights Act is largely enforced by private civil rights groups and lawyers in private practice who bring cases before independent judges pursuant to a private right of action.

Did a progressive Congress have the foresight to recognize that a private right of action would protect the victims of discrimination from future administrations hostile to civil rights, and thus include it in the statute as a check against enforcement agencies captured by civil rights opponents?

What does 'Be careful what you wish for' mean?

Rather, moderate and conservative Senate Republicans, resigned to the fact that an employment discrimination law was inevitable, and fearful of a powerful federal agency that would restrict business autonomy in the manner of the National Labor Relations Board NLRB , substituted a private right of action for agency adjudication in an attempt to sabotage the effectiveness of Title VII. In , the adoption of a private right of action was widely seen as a great loss for civil rights advocates, turning Title VII from an enforceable law to an ineffectual call for voluntary compliance with anti-discrimination policies.

Those who tried to sabotage the enforcement of civil rights through a private right of action should be turning in their graves, having inadvertently given civil rights advocates a powerful tool to resist assaults on civil rights. Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation. Subscribe to this free journal for more curated articles on this topic. Subscribe to this fee journal for more curated articles on this topic. Economic Anthropology eJournal.

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Employment Law eJournal. We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content. How do you pick a friend or an ally? Who decides you cannot be friends with someone? Is it human nature to have both friends and foes? And do nation-states behave like human beings in matters pertaining to friendship and animosity? The answers to these questions are not as simple as they seem. The dynamics and products of human intelligence are very complex. You may consider your friendship with someone is a rational choice, but it often is not.

Chance, change and challenges conspire to bring you to your existing choices.

Be careful what you wish for - Egon Zehnder

You are forced to spend more time with someone perchance and you discover a good friend in them. Your best friend is leaving town for good and your dependence on the friendship necessitates that you look for someone to fill the vacuum. And sometimes the challenges you face are just beyond your capacity to manage singlehandedly and you are compelled to combine forces with other people only to find you have become good friends with them.

Does that mean you have to be similar or share a common set of values to be good friends? Not necessarily. You will be surprised by the complexity of the choices you make and even the amount of irrationality involved if you were to take a dispassionate look at your relationships. Matters of hostility ought to be easy, right?

Be careful, what you wish for

You are bound to have one or more genuine reason s to dislike or hate somebody. Perhaps someone betrayed your trust or badmouthed or even backstabbed you. But what about your instinctive dislike for someone? Instincts are not rational you know. Similarly, what about your jealousies? And do not forget the role played by a third party, say a closer friend, in such matters. An abiding sense of loyalty to your friends and their choices often force you to make decisions that you were originally very fond of.