Embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen is using an unusual legal argument to hit back at Lisa Jackson, the former employee suing her for discrimination.
Deen's camp cited the Supreme Court's June 26 decision striking down California's Prop 8 as a reason a court should dismiss Jackson's lawsuit.
How does that work, you ask?
Lisa Jackson filed a federal complaint against Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, for subjecting her to racial harassment and a hostile work environment.
Among other things, Jackson alleges that Deen made racist remarks about her employees. Paula denies this, but admits using racial slurs in the past.
The Food Network decided not to renew her contract as a result of that admission, and a slew of the famed cook's sponsors dumped her, as well.
Now Deen's legal team is hitting back hard against Jackson, charging in a brief that one of the plaintiff's core claims against Paula is a complete lie.
Specifically, Deen says Jackson's claim that she was personally offended by Paula's utterance of racial slurs since she has biracial nieces is untrue.
Her lawyers have cited evidence that Jackson's nieces are actually those of her partner's, and that the little girls are Hispanic, not African-American.
As such, Deen's attorneys noted the opinion of the Supreme Court and Chief Justice John Roberts on the Hollingsworth vs. Perry Prop 8 case.
In order to have standing to sue, a person must prove they have "suffered a concrete and particularized injury that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct."
"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."
In Deen's view, given that Jackson is white, she doesn't have standing to bring the case because she herself didn't suffer personally from race discrimination.
She also lied or at least embellished the alleged discrimination.
The court has yet to rule in the case, which has already torpedoed Deen's empire. You can bet she will fight this tooth and nail, then likely countersue.