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Supreme Court rules on employer retaliation, Alabama voting law

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] handed down three decisions Tuesday, including two cases involving alleged employer retaliation [JURIST archive]. In Gomez-Perez v. Potter [LII case backgrounder; JURIST report], the Court held 6-3 that a provision [text] in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects government employees who complain of age discrimination from subsequent retaliation. The Court reversed a ruling [text] by the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and held that anyone who is a victim of such treatment may make a claim under the Act. Read the Court's opinion per Justice Alito, along with a dissent from Roberts and a separate dissent [texts] from Thomas.

In a similar case involving a Cracker Barrel restaurant, CBOCS West v. Humphries [Duke Law backgrounder], the Court found 7-2 that 42 USC 1981 [text] created a cause of action for an employee who suffered retaliation as a result of claiming workplace discrimination [JURIST news archive] based on race. The Court affirmed a ruling [PDF text] by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, noting that "this Court has long held that the statutory text of §1981’s sister statute, §1982, provides protection from retaliation for reasons related to the enforcement of the express statutory right." Read the Court's opinion per Justice Breyer, along with a dissent [texts] by Thomas. AP has more.

In Riley v. Kennedy [LII backgrounder; JURIST report], the Court ruled on a Voting Rights Act (VRA) [text] requirement that certain states must obtain federal clearance before changing their voting rules, a measure imposed to guard against racial discrimination. The Court reversed by 7-2 the ruling [PDF text] of the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, holding that returning to a previous election law when a new one was struck down by the Supreme Court of Alabama was not a violation of the VRA, because there had been no "change" in need of clearance. The Court emphasized the narrowness of the holding, essentially limiting it to the facts of the case. Read the Court's opinion by Justice Ginsburg and the dissent [texts] by Stevens. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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