Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents

528 U.S. 62 (2000)

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Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents

United States Supreme Court
528 U.S. 62 (2000)

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Facts

Separate groups of individuals (plaintiffs) employed by Alabama or Florida state government agencies (defendants) filed lawsuits in three federal district courts. One such individual was J. Daniel Kimel, Jr. (co-plaintiff), an employee of the Florida Board of Regents (co-defendant). The employees alleged violations of the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which broadly prohibited employers from discriminating against employees solely on the basis of age. The agencies argued that they were immune to the lawsuits because the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution protects a state's sovereign immunity against lawsuits filed by individual citizens in federal courts. One court agreed with the agencies and dismissed the lawsuit. Two courts disagreed with the agencies and denied the agencies’ motions to dismiss. The losing parties in each case appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which consolidated the appeals and ruled that the ADEA did not abrogate (override) the agencies' Eleventh Amendment immunity. Because this decision conflicted with the decisions reached by other circuit courts of appeal, the United States Supreme Court granted the employees' petition for certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (O'Connor, J.)

Dissent (Thomas, J.)

Dissent (Stevens, J.)

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