Willamette Law Online

United States Supreme Court Certiorari Granted


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Madigan v. Levin

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: March 18, 2013
Case #: 12-872
Court Below: Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 692 F.3d 607 (2012)
Full Text Opinion: http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit=Display&Path=Y2012/D08-17/C:11-2820:J:Kanne:aut:T:fnOp:N:978293:S:0

Civil Rights § 1983: Whether a state or local employee's claim for age discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is precluded by the Age Discrimination and Employment Act.

Respondent, who was over 60 years old at the time, was fired from his position as an Assistant Attorney General. Respondent claimed that he was replaced by a woman in her thirties and filed suit against Petitioners for age and sex discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause via 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Petitioners argued that Respondent’s § 1983 claim for age discrimination was precluded by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and asserted that the ADEA provided the exclusive remedy for age discrimination claims. The district court disagreed and held that Respondent’s § 1983 claim was not precluded by the ADEA.

On interlocutory appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed. The court observed that neither the legislative history nor the statutory text of the ADEA evinced Congress’s intent to preclude claims under § 1983.

On appeal, Petitioners argue that the ADEA provides the exclusive remedy for state or local employee's age discrimination claims. In its prior cases the Court has looked to the comprehensive remedial regimes of similar statutes to infer that Congress intended to preclude a remedy under § 1983, and Petitioners argue that the comprehensive remedial regime provided by the ADEA similarly shows Congress’s intent to preclude claims under § 1983.