The courts have also been unsuccessful in the area of gender equality; the first ruling to declare gender discrimination unconstitutional was Reed v. Reed in 1971 (Rosenberg 2008). This case does not have the notoriety (or infamy) that cases like Brown, Roe, and Obergefell; decisions on gender equality have received comparatively little public and media attention. While this is an important policy area, it lacks the virulent controversy that accompanies issues like SSM, desegregation, and abortion. Additionally, there has been comparatively little dialogue on this issue, or interplay between the court’s decisions on this issue area, and other pieces of legislation and litigation. The conditions for the court to successfully create policy in this area simply have not been present.
As Rosenberg notes, Congress has also struggled to make headway in this policy area as well. This is because the Court and Congress are bound together in the policy process; when the conditions for the court to create successful policy are not present, Congress also generally has trouble crafting successful policy. Thus, progress toward gender equality has been “uneven” when it comes to income and jobs (Rosenberg 2008, 207).
While there have been some gains in gender equality as women have increasingly joined the workplace and “since 1970, women’s labor force participation rate has increased from 43 percent to 57 percent,” there is still a great amount of inequality (Mather and Jarosz 2014, 12). Despite the actions of the courts and congress, gender...
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...ht to put into place have not been successful because they have lacked implementation at a local level. However, it is precisely because of local implementation that desegregation policy and SSM policy were successful. In the case of desegregation, it was the local implementation by district courts that helped to increase the strict standard of compliance with the Supreme Court 's’ rulings in Brown and Green. In the case of SSM, broad support of the policy area has helped to enforce this decision on a local level, and now SSM is essentially ubiquitous in the United States a mere few months after the decision was handed down by the Supreme Court. This, when examining the courts through an interbranch perspective it is clear that the courts do play a profound role in shaping policy in the United States, particularly when the two conditions for success are also present.
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