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Monday Morning Review: Local Governments in the Federal Appellate Courts

Here are last week’s published decisions involving local governments:SCT pillars

First Circuit

Snyder v. Gaudet, No. 12-1422 (June 25, 2014) (In 42 U.S.C. 1983 action alleging violation of equal protection because city applied zoning restriction differently to Snyder than to prior owner, granting qualified immunity to defendants because right was not clearly established): Continue reading

 

Monday Morning Review: Local Governments in the Federal Appellate Courts

Here are last week’s published decisions involving local governments:5653819568_1e37db21d0_z

First Circuit

Second Circuit

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Fourth Circuit: Retirement Plan Discriminates Based on Age

A County retirement-benefit plan requires an employee to contribute a percentage of his salary to the plan.Retirement

But not all employees contribute at the same rate.

Instead, an older employee must contribute at a higher rate than a younger employee who enrolls at the same time.

Does this violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?

The Fourth Circuit, in EEOC v. Baltimore County, No. 13-1106 (Mar. 31, 2014), said that in the case of Baltimore County’s plan, it does.

In the court’s view, Continue reading

 

A Supreme Court DIG, and a Lesson About Appellate Jurisdiction

The first significant case affecting local governments in this new Supreme Court term  — Madigan v. Levin  ended poorly. The Court resolved the case with a DIG — the Court dismissed it as improvidently granted. Supreme Court3

What went wrong? And what can we learn from it about appellate jurisdiction?

An Important Question

The case had all the hallmarks of a classic Supreme Court case.

The question presented was important. It asked whether when a state or local government employee alleges that his employer has discriminated against him because of his age, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) provides his exclusive remedy, or whether he may also bring a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983 because the discrimination violates the Constitution’s Equal-Protection Clause.

The question had divided the lower courts. The Seventh Circuit acknowledged that its holding — that the ADEA does not prevent the employee from bringing a Section 1983 claim — created a deep circuit split.

And it had far-reaching implications. It could literally impact every state and local government.

What Went Wrong?

So why would the Court, after granting cert. and hearing oral argument, suddenly change its mind and toss the case?

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