Paula Deen on Monday pushed to have dismissed part of a racial discrimination lawsuit against her – the part in which she confessed to using the N-word in a deposition – claiming the woman who sued her had no legal basis for her lawsuit because she is white.
Dean’s lawyers are basing this challenge on the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down California’s anti-same-sex marriage Prop. 8. Her team filed paperwork in U.S. District Court in Georgia citing SCOTUS’ June 26 ruling that essentially struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop. 8.
Deen’s former restaurant employee Lisa Jackson brought the original suit against the chef. Although white, Jackson has bi-racial nieces.
Deen’s supplementary material to the earlier motion for sanction noted Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion for the majority in the Prop 8 ruling: “One essential aspect…is that any person invoking the power of a federal court must demonstrate standing to do so. This requires the litigant to prove that he has suffered a concrete and particularized injury that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct, and is likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision. In other words, for a federal court to have authority under the Constitution to settle a dispute, the party before it must seek a remedy for a personal and tangible harm.”
Last week the Supreme Court ruled that Prop. 8’s legal proponents lacked legal standing based on the argument Roberts detailed in his opinion.
On Tuesday, lawyers for Deen, her brother Earl Hiers and their co-owned Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House sought sanctions against Jackson claiming she had no right to claim racial discrimination.
“Jackson cannot enforce someone else’s right, and she has no actionable claim for feeling ‘uncomfortable’ around discriminatory conduct directed at others,” the June 25 motion said. “These defendants respectfully request the Court to consider Hollingsworth in its resolution of their motion to dismiss,” Monday’s four-page filing added.