Talk:Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject U.S. Supreme Court cases (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject U.S. Supreme Court cases, a collaborative effort to improve articles related to Supreme Court cases and the Supreme Court. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the importance scale.
 
WikiProject Law (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Law, an attempt at providing a comprehensive, standardised, pan-jurisdictional and up-to-date resource for the legal field and the subjects encompassed by it.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 

This article is full of half truths and outright falsehoods that the first author wrote in to try to buttress their false claims on the state's rights page. See discussion there for some of the issues. 69.105.0.115 22:18, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

For instance the summary of the finding of the case says "The Court held that Congress's enforcement powers under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution did not extend to the abrogation of state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment where the discrimination complained of was based on age. Therefore the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA or Act) does not apply to states."

Whereas the courts actual summary of the decision states"Although the ADEA does contain a clear statement of Congress’ intent to abrogate the States’ immunity, that abrogation exceeded Congress’ authority under §5 of the Fourteenth Amendment."

and "Congress cannot, however, decree the substance of the Fourteenth Amendment’s restrictions on the States. Id., at 519. The ultimate interpretation and determination of the Amendment’s substantive meaning remains the province of the Judicial Branch. This Court has held that for remedial legislation to be appropriate under §5, “[t]here must be a congruence and proportionality between the injury to be prevented or remedied and the means adopted to that end.”

and "States therefore may discriminate on the basis of age without offending the Fourteenth Amendment if the age classification in question is rationally related to a legitimate state interest. The rationality commanded by the Equal Protection Clause does not require States to match age distinctions and the legitimate interests they serve with razorlike precision. Rather, a State may rely on age as a proxy for other qualities, abilities, or characteristics that are relevant to the State’s legitimate interests. That age proves to be an inaccurate proxy in any individual case is irrelevant. Judged against the backdrop of this Court’s equal protection jurisprudence, it is clear that the ADEA is “so out of proportion to a supposed remedial or preventive object that it cannot be understood as responsive to, or designed to prevent, unconstitutional behavior."

So this articles summary leaves out the fact that only irrational discrimination based on age is permitted. States may not simply discriminate by age willy nilly, as this article seems to imply, but can rationally discriminate based on age, such as assuming in general older people can't do as much work as younger people 69.105.0.115 22:39, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

And this statement is false "the equal protection clause applies to state governments only for discrimination based on "race or gender." This is not true, and does not say that in decision.

Section C, Paragraphs 1-3 state "Applying the same “congruence and proportionality” test in these cases, we conclude that the ADEA is not “appropriate legislation” under §5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Initially, the substantive requirements the ADEA imposes on state and local governments are disproportionate to any unconstitutional conduct that conceivably could be targeted by the Act. We have considered claims of unconstitutional age discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause three times. See Gregory v. Ashcroft, 501 U.S. 452 (1991); Vance v. Bradley, 440 U.S. 93 (1979); Massachusetts Bd. of Retirement v. Murgia, 427 U.S. 307 (1976) (per curiam). In all three cases, we held that the age classifications at issue did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. See Gregory, supra, at 473; Bradley, supra, at 102—103, n. 20, 108—112; Murgia, supra, at 317. Age classifications, unlike governmental conduct based on race or gender, cannot be characterized as “so seldom relevant to the achievement of any legitimate state interest that laws grounded in such considerations are deemed to reflect prejudice and antipathy.” Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc., 473 U.S. 432, 440 (1985). Older persons, again, unlike those who suffer discrimination on the basis of race or gender, have not been subjected to a “ ‘history of purposeful unequal treatment.’ ” Murgia, supra, at 313 (quoting San Antonio Independent School Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 28 (1973)). Old age also does not define a discrete and insular minority because all persons, if they live out their normal life spans, will experience it. 427 U.S., at 313—314. Accordingly, as we recognized in Murgia, Bradley, and Gregory, age is not a suspect classification under the Equal Protection Clause. See, e.g., Gregory, supra, at 470; Bradley, supra, at 97; Murgia, supra, at 313—314.

States may discriminate on the basis of age without offending the Fourteenth Amendment if the age classification in question is rationally related to a legitimate state interest. The rationality commanded by the Equal Protection Clause does not require States to match age distinctions and the legitimate interests they serve with razorlike precision. As we have explained, when conducting rational basis review “we will not overturn such [government action] unless the varying treatment of different groups or persons is so unrelated to the achievement of any combination of legitimate purposes that we can only conclude that the [government’s] actions were irrational.” Bradley, supra, at 97. In contrast, when a State discriminates on the basis of race or gender, we require a tighter fit between the discriminatory means and the legitimate ends they serve. See, e.g., Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña, 515 U.S. 200, 227 (1995) (“[Racial] classifications are constitutional only if they are narrowly tailored measures that further compelling governmental interests”); Mississippi Univ. for Women v. Hogan, 458 U.S. 718, 724 (1982) (holding that gender classifications are constitutional only if they serve “ ‘important governmental objectives and … the discriminatory means employed’ are ‘substantially related to the achievement of those objectives’ ” (citation omitted)). Under the Fourteenth Amendment, a State may rely on age as a proxy for other qualities, abilities, or characteristics that are relevant to the State’s legitimate interests. The Constitution does not preclude reliance on such generalizations. That age proves to be an inaccurate proxy in any individual case is irrelevant. “[W]here rationality is the test, a State ‘does not violate the Equal Protection Clause merely because the classifications made by its laws are imperfect.’ ” Murgia, supra, at 316 (quoting Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471, 485 (1970)). Finally, because an age classification is presumptively rational, the individual challenging its constitutionality bears the burden of proving that the “facts on which the classification is apparently based could not reasonably be conceived to be true by the governmental decisionmaker.” Bradley, supra, at 111; see Gregory, supra, at 473.

Our decisions in Murgia, Bradley, and Gregory illustrate these principles. In all three cases, we held that the States’ reliance on broad generalizations with respect to age did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. In Murgia, we upheld against an equal protection challenge a Massachusetts statute requiring state police officers to retire at age 50. The State justified the provision on the ground that the age classification assured the State of the physical preparedness of its officers. 427 U.S., at 314—315. Although we acknowledged that Officer Murgia himself was in excellent physical health and could still perform the duties of a state police officer, we found that the statute clearly met the requirements of the Equal Protection Clause. Id., at 311, 314—317. “That the State chooses not to determine fitness more precisely through individualized testing after age 50 [does not prove] that the objective of assuring physical fitness is not rationally furthered by a maximum-age limitation.” Id., at 316. In Bradley, we considered an equal protection challenge to a federal statute requiring Foreign Service officers to retire at age 60. We explained: “If increasing age brings with it increasing susceptibility to physical difficulties, … the fact that individual Foreign Service employees may be able to perform past age 60 does not invalidate [the statute] any more than did the similar truth undercut compulsory retirement at age 50 for uniformed state police in Murgia.” 440 U.S., at 108. Finally, in Gregory, we upheld a provision of the Missouri Constitution that required judges to retire at age 70. Noting that the Missouri provision was based on a generalization about the effect of old age on the ability of individuals to serve as judges, we acknowledged that “[i]t is far from true that all judges suffer significant deterioration in performance at age 70,” “[i]t is probably not true that most do,” and “[i]t may not be true at all.” 501 U.S., at 473. Nevertheless, because Missouri’s age classification was subject only to rational basis review, we held that the State’s reliance on such imperfect generalizations was entirely proper under the Equal Protection Clause. Ibid. These decisions thus demonstrate that the constitutionality of state classifications on the basis of age cannot be determined on a person-by-person basis. Our Constitution permits States to draw lines on the basis of age when they have a rational basis for doing so at a class-based level, even if it “is probably not true” that those reasons are valid in the majority of cases."

The decision stated age is not in general a suspect classification, not that the 14th does not apply to it, and that one must prove general irrational discrimination to make the case. 69.105.0.115 22:57, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

So what's your problem? Didn't you just prove that you're wrong again?Jimmuldrow 05:30, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

You keep saying decision said 14th did not apply to age discrimination and that state's may now always discriminate against the elderly, when it clearly says 14th does not apply to rational discrimination 69.105.0.115 05:40, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

And applying the rational argument on the individual level would be the "razorlike precision" that the majority opinion said is not required.

Also, O'Connor's decision said, "Under the Fourteenth Amendment, a State may rely on age as a proxy for other qualities, abilities, or characteristics that are relevant to the State’s legitimate interests. The Constitution does not preclude reliance on such generalizations. That age proves to be an inaccurate proxy in any individual case is irrelevant." Jimmuldrow 19:58, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

There are a few substantive problems with this article, although it probably needs a comprehensive stylistic revision as well. First, it is undisputed that Ex parte Young allows a state official to be sued for prospective injunctive relief under the ADEA (and other federal laws):

Our holding here that Congress did not validly abrogate the States' sovereign immunity from suit by private individuals for money damages under Title I does not mean that persons with disabilities have no federal recourse against discrimination. Title I of the ADA still prescribes standards applicable to the States. Those standards can be enforced by the United States in actions for money damages, as well as by private individuals in actions for injunctive relief under Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908).

Bd. of Trs. of the Univ. of Ala. v. Garrett, 531 U.S. 356, 374 n.9 (2001); see also, e.g., State Police for Automatic Retirement Ass'n v. DiFava, 317 F.3d 6, 12 (1st Cir. 2003) ("Neither Kimel, nor Eleventh Amendment jurisprudence, prevents individuals ... from obtaining injunctive relief against a state based upon the ADEA pursuant to Ex parte Young."). The article implies that the ability of injured plaintiffs to receive equitable relief is in doubt, and this is untrue. Second, the summary of Boerne is too long and contains statements of opinion (e.g., about the effect of Katzenbach) and loaded terms like "states' rights." Third, the reference to Adam Winkler's article is both dubious in relevance and incorrect in substance. It is dubious in relevance because it deals with an issue which is only tangentially related to the issue in Kimel. It is incorrect in substance because Winkler's article actually says that 70% of the statutes analyzed under strict scrutiny fail. The 20% figure, as far as I can tell, comes from the percentage of statutes which have survived strict scrutiny in the early 2000s; the text of this article, whose summary of the Winkler article is somewhat opaque, appears to say otherwise. Hydriotaphia 20:57, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

It says, "Surprisingly, however, strict scrutiny has become more fatal in the years since Adarand declared the standard to be survivable (from 40% in the early 1990s to 20% in the early 2000s)."Jimmuldrow 13:15, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

"Successful 20% of the time" makes it sounds as if strict scrutiny is successful at invalidating statutes 20% of the time. More importantly, however, the article, and any discussion of strict scrutiny, is of marginal relevance to Kimel. Why not put the Winkler article elsewhere? Why here? Hydriotaphia 14:26, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

It clearly says the strict scrutiny standard is more fatal in the early 2000s (succeeding at 20% of the time) than ten years before (succeeding at 40% of the time). More fatal means that strict scrutiny is more fatal to equal protection clause suits than before. Also, a false implication is as bad as a mistake, and should be clarified. Rational basis review doesn't mean that a strict interpretation would guarantee a different result.Jimmuldrow 17:28, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

The article in question was correcting the older theory that strict strutiny is "strict in theory, fatal in fact" to efforts to enforce the equal protection clause. 20% success is better than zero.Jimmuldrow 17:43, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm glad you corrected the false implication. However, I have still not heard you articulate why you think a discussion of strict scrutiny is appropriate here. Kimel was not a case that concerned itself with the mechanics of strict scrutiny or its effects. Rather, it was a case that concerned itself with the relationship between rational basis scrutiny and section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Hydriotaphia 18:30, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I would add that this passage is highly misleading:

Both sovereign immunity and congruence require Congress to adhere to the Court's rational basis review interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which in theory is not as strict for age discrimination as strict scrutiny, which applies to discrimination based on "race or gender."

This is erroneous. "Sovereign immunity and congruence [and proportionality]" do not require Congress to adhere to the protections afforded by rational basis review in general. Rather, Kimel held that state sovereign immunity prohibits suits against the states for money damages, when those suits are aimed at proscribing "rational" discrimination on the basis of age. Perhaps this is what you meant to say, but the phrasing is unclear. I'm going to alter it. Respectfully, Hydriotaphia 18:37, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Money damages is correct.Jimmuldrow 18:51, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm glad we agree. A reference to money damages was not in the earlier version. Respectfully, Hydriotaphia 18:56, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

It was before you messed with it.Jimmuldrow 21:49, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Can we please stop this childishness? "Messing with" an article implies (1) my edits were in bad faith and (2) it's "your" article. Let's move forward productively. Hydriotaphia 22:16, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Again, misleading information is as bad as a mistake, and there was at least one Wikipedia lawyer who thought that strict interpretation would change the outcome, which is possible, but far from guaranteed.Jimmuldrow 18:50, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Jim, I'm sorry, but I find this frustrating. I don't know what your comment above means. Also, I still have not seen you justify the Winkler reference. Why does that reference belong in this article? Respectfully, Hydriotaphia 18:52, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Jim, I feel obliged to eliminate the Winkler reference. You have given no justification for its presence, and I can think of none. I would keep it in if I were able to think of a rationale for its presence in this article. Respectfully, Hydriotaphia 20:23, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Also, sorry if I wrongly accused you of stalking. You appeared behind almost every change I made, including changes to a couple of articles that didn't exist before I created them. If this is coincidental, sorry.Jimmuldrow 17:32, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Why do so many of these "corrections" remove information from Court opinions?[edit]

Especially when in the form of direct quotes from Court opinions, including the majority opinions? This happened more than once to this article, half a dozen times with Garrett and several times with Morrison. What the Court opinions say is the closest objective definition there is as to what these articles should be about.

And why remove any information that explains what they're supposed to mean, even when references are provided?Jimmuldrow 22:26, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Are you referring to the latest edits? Unless I'm mistaken, I don't believe I removed any quotes; and I apologize if I'm wrong and I removed too much. Anyway, let's keep the discussion on this page focused on Kimel. Respectfully, Hydriotaphia 22:35, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

A query[edit]

I'm a bit confused about an addition which reads:

O'Connor said that rational basis review protects state governments from money damages from suits brought under the Equal Protection Clause for age discrimination, as opposed to discrimination based on "race or gender" where a "history of purposeful unequal treatment" would encounter other rules (ones based on strict scrutiny) that limit such lawsuits.

A few things. First, technically it's not rational basis review, but rather the principle of "congruence and proportionality," which protects state governments from suits for money damages. Second, it's far from clear to me what "...encounter other rules (ones based on strict scrutiny) that limit such lawsuits" means. The fact that laws based on gender and race are subjected to intermediate and strict scrutiny, respectively, means that under the "congruence and proportionality" standard Congress has a freer hand to devise remedies to combat gender- and race-discrimination. That is to say: strict scrutiny means that lawsuits against the states for money damages brought under, e.g., the FMLA and Title VII are constitutionally permissible, not "limit[ed]," as the article now seems to say. See Nevada Dep't of Human Res. v. Hibbs, 538 U.S. 721 (2003) (upholding the FMLA as a valid exercise of congressional Section 5 power); Crumpacker v. Kans. Dep't of Human Res., 338 F.3d 1163 (10th Cir. 2003) (upholding Title VII sex discrimination claims as a valid exercise of Section 5 power). I think this passage needs to be rephrased for clarity. Hydriotaphia 22:32, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Jim, you keep adding the following phrase to the article, despite the comments here: "...as opposed to discrimination based on 'race or gender' where a 'history of purposeful unequal treatment' would encounter other rules (ones based on strict scrutiny) that limit such lawsuits." This is a confusingly phrased point. I take it that you're saying that strict scrutiny makes it likelier that race- and gender-based classifications will be struck down. (Is that correct?) As it is phrased now, however, the passage I've just quoted is still confusing for the reasons I set forth in the comment directly above. Instead of making comments I find needlessly inflammatory, could you engage in discussion on this page? Perhaps we can find a way to phrase this point so as to make it less confusing. Also, signing in before making edits would, I think, be helpful and show your good faith. Respectfully, Hydriotaphia 05:38, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I'm not trying to confuse you. It was just a defining statement made in O'Connor's opinion of the Court. :)Jimmuldrow 05:43, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

But Jim, here's what the sentence you quoted says:

"Older persons, again, unlike those who suffer discrimination on the basis of race or gender, have not been subjected to a '"history of purposeful unequal treatment."'" Murgia, supra, at 313 (quoting San Antonio Independent School Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 28 (1973)).

The reason your summary of this sentence is confusing is, I think, because it doesn't accurately paraphrase the sentence. This sentence does not include anything like this phrase, which appears in the text you've added:

other rules [what rules? set forth by the courts in case law? enacted by Congress in legislation?] (ones based on strict scrutiny) that limit [what does "limit" here mean?] such lawsuits [what lawsuits?].

Why not simply say, "as opposed to classifications based on race or gender, where a 'history of purposeful unequal treatment' leads the Court to apply strict scrutiny to such laws"? I consider this a lot less confusing. Would this be acceptable? Hydriotaphia 05:59, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

One semi-related comment. In making the latest changes, I altered the sequence of discussion in the first paragraph of the "rationale" section. (I only slightly changed the wording of the discussion, however, and tried to preserve as much of what was there as I could.) The sequence in which the paragraph discusses the legal issues is, I think, more comprehensible now. The sequence is now, roughly: (1) Congress intended to abrogate the states' sovereign immunity; (2) age is not a suspect category under the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution and is subject to rational basis scrutiny; (3) by contrast, the ADEA extends its protections substantially further than does the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution; (4) for that reason, the Court held that the ADEA's remedy did not exhibit "congruence and proportionality" to the constitutional wrong. I hope this sequence will be acceptable. One of its advantages, I think, is that it eschews unnecessary repetition. Hydriotaphia 07:22, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I am a trial counsel in Kimel. I have points of view I would like to share with you two but would rather do so directly. Janice L. Jennings, Esq. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.153.203.251 (talk) 00:18, 22 September 2007 (UTC)