WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from a woman who says she was raped as a West Point cadet, with Justice Clarence Thomas alone arguing that the court should have heard her case.
The woman, who attended the U.S. Military Academy from 2008 to 2010, had sued saying the academy’s leadership tolerated a culture that was hostile toward women and failed to provide adequate support for cadets who are assaulted, among other things. But lower courts said her lawsuit against the U.S. government couldn’t go forward.
Thomas said in a dissent that the high court should have taken the case to reconsider a 70-year-old precedent that prevents members of the military from suing the United States when they are injured while doing their duties.
It is the second time in as many years he has noted his disagreement when the court has declined to revisit the issue. Thomas says the case the court decided decades ago has led to bizarre and surprising results, including barring the former cadet’s case.
“Under our precedent, if two Pentagon employees—one civilian and one a service member—are hit by a bus in the Pentagon parking lot and sue, it may be that only the civilian would have a chance to litigate his claim on the merits,” Thomas wrote in a 3-page dissent.
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