Post by Sandra Sperino, Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Law, University of Cincinnati College of Law.
In the discrimination context, the Supreme Court has declared that when Congress creates a federal tort it adopts the background of general tort law. One reason that it is difficult to apply traditional tort law to discrimination cases is that there is no such thing as “general” tort law. Tort law may use similar words in different torts, but these words often have different meanings, depending on the tort to which they are attached. Many tort doctrines differ depending on the underlying pocket of obligation being considered.