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TAS Article Cited in Supreme Court Case

1 May 2011 1,409 views No Comment
Rosanne Desmone, ASA Public Relations Specialist

A 2009 The American Statistician article, “How Likely Is a Simpson’s Paradox?” was recently cited in a case before the Supreme Court. Oral arguments were heard by the court in the case of Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on March 29. An amicus curiae brief filed by CostCo in the case cites the article, which was written by Marios G. Pavildes and Michael D. Perlman. The paper also was cited in a footnote in the written decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (California), allowing the case to move ahead as a class action.

At issue is whether the Supreme Court will certify the case as a class-action suit. The court agreed to hear arguments about whether a federal rule of civil procedure [Rule 23(b)(2)] can be used to file a class-action suit that demands monetary damages. The court also requested that the parties argue as to whether the class action meets traditional requirements of numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation. If the case is allowed to proceed as a class action, it will be one of the largest—if not the largest—civil rights class-action suits in U.S. history, encompassing some 1.6 million women who work or have worked for Wal-Mart.

A decision from the court is expected in June. CNN coverage of the case stated that a ruling by the justices against Wal-Mart could eventually affect nearly every private employer, large and small.

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