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A Case for Federal Oversight of Military Sexual Harassment

By Rachel Natelson

Women in military service face epidemic levels of sexual harassment and assault. U.S. Department of Defense policy is to deal with these matters within the chain of command. While the U.S. Supreme Court has not spoken on the applicability to servicemembers of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a consensus has emerged among federal appellate courts that the Act does not protect uniformed personnel against discrimination. However, the appellate courts’ consensus arguably does not apply to sexual harassment as a form of disparate treatment in hiring and promotion.

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