I wrote on this blog earlier this year about a federal judge, Clay D Land, whose arbitrary decision to return a properly filed case from Georgia to South Carolina landed that case into the hands of local judicial mafia who catered for "their own" and disciplined an outsider attorney in an intellectual infringement case for following the law as it was written, on behalf of his wronged clients.
After that invaluable service saved the defendants from a 4.2 million dollar judgment, Judge Clay D Land
was promoted to the position of a Chief Judge of his District Court.
And, in that position he authored an opinion which I can only characterize as a menopause of the brain.
Because, the case IS about menopause.
Here is the name of the case.
Here is the complaint of Alisha Coleman, an African American middle-aged woman who is, while working, is struggling with the effects of menopause, same as many millions of American women do every day.
The complaint is trying to plead the case in the most clinical, sterile way, in the most politically correct language possible.
Yet, the facts of the case are messy and ugly - and I will present them as they were alleged, only without political correctness.
Alisha Coleman, a woman undergoing her menopause, worked for a federal contractor, provider of - guess what? - E-911 services!
I will translate.
Alisha Coleman's regular periods stopped, but once in a while she had breakthrough heavy bleeding and had blood clots dropping out of her.
Such bleedings can be sudden, unpredictable and very profuse.
And, as any bleeding, it can be a medical emergency, possibly a life-threatening emergency.
Let's see how much compassion Alisha Coleman got from her employer, a federal contractor, when such a sudden heavy bleeding happened to her at work.
When #AlishaColeman shared her very intimate condition with her supervisors, they expressed - concern about her health? no, of course, not - a concern that she needs this:
So - the proper thing to tell your employee who may periodically experience a medical emergency is to have enough stuff to mop her blood after herself.
I wonder if any of them cared to look into what post-menstrual bleedings actually are, and whether commercially available "feminine sanitary devices" are able to "contain and absorb" a river of blood that may suddenly rush from a postmenopausal woman.
So, while working for this extraordinary compassionate employer, on one unfortunate occasion, Alisha Coleman had a sudden onset of that river of blood.
And, she bled so heavily that she "soiled an office chair".
Did her supervisor express a concern about her condition, took her to the emergency room to verify if she is ok?
Oh, no. The supervisor has brought a DISCIPLINARY ACTION against a middle-aged woman for sudden heavy bleeding outside of her control, and was warned that if she ever "do that again" - meaning, if ever again a river of blood suddenly rushes from her, and she "soils" any other office furniture - she will be fired.
Apparently, the administration of the federal contractor never read the Americans with Disabilities Act requiring to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities - and that would include some accommodations for Alisha Coleman, which could be as easy as discreetly purchasing a look-alike, but washable office chair for her to use.
And - did Alisha Coleman "did it again"?
"Became episodic" is a politically correct way of saying - Alisha Coleman suffered once again from a river of blood rushing down her legs that was so profuse that it soaked through her pads, ran down her legs and onto the carpet.
In other words, they had an employee in the office who was bleeding so heavily that she bled onto the carpet.
Now, was THAT considered by the employer as a medical emergency in order to show the woman some compassion and bring her to the emergency room?
Instead, Alisha Coleman, in her condition, did this:
Think about it.
A middle-aged woman who had a likely emergency condition, thought not about her health, but how to clean the office carpet of her own blood with "bleach and disinfectant" in order not to be fired - for bleeding.
But, she was fired anyway.
And, Alisha Coleman sued.
And, Chief Judge Clay D. Land was "assigned" to her case.
Nobody can accuse Judge Land of lack of intelligence - especially when he achieved such a rare (rarest, in fact) thing as "the order of coif", having straight "As" in law school.
But, Judge Land, in order to make this egregious case of discrimination to go away, pretended to be dumb anyway: he first correctly summarized the facts of the case as alleged in Alisha Coleman's lawsuit,
but then engaged in bizarred unlicensed OB/GYN diagnostics:
- alleging that heavy bleeding from the uterus indicating the process by which the body stops its reproductive function, is not related to childbirth or pregnancy - see how this argument is contradicted in the appellate brief filed on behalf of Alisha Coleman by ACLU;
- comparing heavy bleeding, through pads and on the floor, with urine incontinence; and
- claimed that Alisha Coleman failed to allege that men were treated differently with urine incontinence than she was with her heavy bleeding.
So, Judge Land, without any compunction, claimed in his decision dismissing her lawsuit that the only way Alisha Coleman could claim discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause (that she was fired because of a medical condition unique for her gender) was if her condition would be related to childbirth or pregnancy - and concluded the bleeding that occurs when the woman's ability for pregnancy is winding down - is NOT related to pregnancy.
Follow the reasoning:
The statute says that a woman may not be discriminated against by her employer because of medical conditions "because of her sex" or "on the basis of sex", which, as the statute explained, "include, but are not limited to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; ... 42 U.S.C. 2000e(k)".
This is a civil rights enforcement statute, and the rule of construction of such statutes is (1) broad, (2) liberal, and (3) to ensure that legislative intent is followed.
And the legislative intent was clearly to ensure that women are not discriminated against and certainly not fired because of their sex, including, BUT NOT LIMITED TO conditions that arise on the basis of pregnancy or childbirth, or "related medical conditions".
How could an "order of coif" judge not conclude that a uterine bleeding by which nature winds up the process of pregnancy and childbirth in a certain female is not "related" to pregnancy or childbirth - is a scientific wonder.
But he did.
Here is what this "order of coif" judge says, and this is a direct quote from his decision:
Here Judge Land could just end his atrocious self-embarrassment. But, he felt the need to continue.
"Not terminated simply because she was "pre-menopausal or menstruating".
She did not allege that she was menstruating - she alleged that she was bleeding as part of the menopause, which is a completely different story and may be a medical emergency.
Women do not usually "menstruate" through their clothes, pads, down their legs and on the floor - it is may be an emergency bleeding, as in "losing blood", as in "bleeding to death".
Doesn't a person with an "order of coif" get that?
But, again, without the benefit of discovery and expert evidence, Judge Lance decided to act as an unlicensed OB/GYN and claim that she was simply "pre-menopausal OR menstruating".
In fact, claiming that Alisha Coleman was "or menstruating" was a statement directly opposite her allegations in the complaint, and thus a statement made by the judge on behalf of defendants, as their advocate.
But, that did not embarrass Judge Land enough either.
He rushed head on:
Dear sisters, American women.
Mothers, wives, childless women - does not matter.
The Chief Prick (not sorry) of the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Georgia, a middle-aged man), considers it appropriate and not discriminatory if a woman is fired "for being unable to control the heavy menstruation and soiling herself and company property".
How callous and humiliating is that?
First, Judge Land, once again, falsifies the record by downplaying the facts and alleging that it was menstruation, not heavy (very heavy) bleeding - so heavy that Alisha Coleman bled onto the floor through the pads and clothes.
Next, Judge Land claims that now a woman may be fired for soiling HERSELF (and a piece of carpet) with HER OWN BLOOD during A MEDIAL EMERGENCY.
To say that in an official document, a man and a judge must be a special kind of jerk.
But, Judge Land did not end his atrocious woman-hating and racist rant even at that, he had to continue.
Once again Judge Land is attempting to:
- equate emergency bleeding with incontinence;
- imply that incontinence is a medical condition attributable to male sex only; and
- claim that alleging that in order to claim discrimination in being fired for sudden emergency bleeding on the floor in the office, a woman must somehow allege that incontinent males will not be fired under the same circumstances.
And, what bothers me, too, is why Alisha Coleman's complaint did not include discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
After all, I agree that in this case it is a gender discrimination.
But, it would have provided yet another basis for the lawsuit to proceed if Alisha Coleman would also claim that it does not really matter from which part of the body you suddenly bleed when you are fired for that sudden bleeding on the company chair - or carpet - from a wound on your body, from your nose, mouth, ears or from your uterus.
Such firing is clearly still a discrimination against a temporary disability, and is equally reprehensible.
Alisha Coleman could have fell, struck her head and bled on the same floor.
Alisha Coleman could have nose-bled on the same floor.
She would have been fired, too?
One thing appears to be clear - Judge Clay D. Land has no place on the federal bench, nor should he remain a licensed attorney.
He is a disgrace to his profession.