Duquesne Law Review


The author of this article examines and dispels the frequently cited account that the provisions against sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were created as a Congressman's joke or as an attempt to defeat the bill. He analyzes the background of the Smith and Bennett amendments, focusing on the congressional debates as they appear in the Congressional Record. He concludes that the Members of Congress were serious about sex discrimination, and that this seriousness has important implications for the interpretation of Title VII.

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