Congress Overstepped Bounds with Age-Discrimination Move

By Murray, Frank J. | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 12, 2000 | Go to article overview

Congress Overstepped Bounds with Age-Discrimination Move


Murray, Frank J., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Congress unconstitutionally intruded on states' rights when it expanded the age-discrimination ban to cover state employees, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday in its latest decision to nullify a federal mandate on the states.

"In stripping the states of their sovereign immunity Congress exceeded its authority," Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said from the bench. She announced the decision moments before the court heard arguments on whether letting rape victims sue attackers in federal court invades state prerogatives protected by the same constitutional provision.

Justice O'Connor's opinion for the court upheld stands by Florida and Alabama against three dozen college employees and a prison guard in Florida plus two associate professors from Alabama's state-run University of Montevallo.

The court said Congress could only intervene under Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to enforce discrimination by states on such constitutionally protected grounds as race or religion.

"State employees are protected by state age discrimination statutes, and may recover money damages from their state employers, in almost every state of the union," said the opinion backed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. Dissenting were Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.

The court said Congress had no evidence of state wrongdoing when it voted in 1972 to place state and local governments under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which until then applied only to private businesses. Except for police and firefighters, hiring or pay decisions could not be based on age for workers over 39 years old.

The decision upheld appeals by Florida and Alabama and also applies to a raft of cases from other states, including pending high court appeals from Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico and Tennessee.

"There's been a danger for some time that Congress was trying to expand its powers over the states by [the enforcement clause] of the 14th Amendment," said Stephen McCutcheon of the Pacific Legal Foundation, which filed a brief in the case.

"We are delighted that the high court has returned to a common sense reading of the Constitution, and a recognition that the people of the several states are more than able to govern themselves," said Paul A. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Congress Overstepped Bounds with Age-Discrimination Move
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.