We hold that an employer is vicariously liable for actionable discrimination caused by a supervisor, but subject to an affirmative defense looking to the reasonableness of the employer's conduct as well as that of a plaintiff victim.
History provides an antidote to cynicism about the past.
While Congress did not, to my knowledge, calculate aggregate dollar values for the nationwide effects of racial discrimination in 1964, in 1994 it did rely on evidence of the harms caused by domestic violence and sexual assault, citing annual costs of $3 billion in 1990 and $5 to $10 billion in 1993.
Under the Articles of Confederation, the national government had the power to issue commands to the several sovereign states, but it had no authority to govern individuals directly.
Over the course of 19 years on the Supreme Court, I learned some lessons about the Constitution of the United States.
Every defendant knows, if endowed with the mental competence for criminal responsibility, that the life he will take by his homicidal behavior is that of a unique person, like himself, and that the person to be killed probably has close associates, 'survivors,' who will suffer harms and deprivations from the victim's death.
Millions of statements are made about the president every day on every subject and from every standpoint; threats of violence are not an integral feature of any one subject or viewpoint as distinct from others. Differential treatment of threats against the president, then, selects nothing but special risks, not special messages.
Ellis Island lies in New York Harbor 1,300 feet from Jersey City, New Jersey, and one mile from the tip of Manhattan. At the time of the first European settlement, it was mostly mud, sand, and oyster shells, which nearly disappeared at high tide.
The language of the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection of the laws did not change between 1896 and 1954, and it would be very hard to say that the obvious facts on which 'Plessy' was based had changed.
The Constitution has a good share of deliberately open-ended guarantees, like rights to due process of law, equal protection of the law, and freedom from unreasonable searches.
Murder has foreseeable consequences. When it happens, it is always to distinct individuals, and after it happens, other victims are left behind.
There can be no stronger claim to a physician's assistance than at the time when death is imminent, a moral judgment implied by the state's own recognition of the legitimacy of medical procedures necessarily hastening the moment of impending death.
The applicability of the Establishment Clause to public funding of benefits to religious schools was settled in Everson v. Board of Ed. of Ewing, which inaugurated the modern era of establishment doctrine.
Congress has the power to legislate with regard to activity that, in the aggregate, has a substantial effect on interstate commerce.
When Congress exercises the powers delegated to it by the Constitution, it may impose affirmative obligations on executive and judicial officers of state and local governments as well as ordinary citizens.
The Constitution is no simple contract, not because it uses a certain amount of open-ended language, but because its language grants and guarantees many good things, and good things that compete with each other and can never all be realized, altogether, all at once.
It may be that the seemingly intrinsic attraction that past time has for me is merely a desire for escapism, as I look out at the nation and world with little optimism.
In a perfect world, I would never give another speech, address, talk, lecture or whatever as long as I live.
I retired when the Supreme Court rose for the summer recess in 2009, and a couple of weeks later I drove north from Washington with no regrets about the prior 19 years or about the decision to try living a more normal life for whatever time might remain.
Legislatures not driven to desperation by the problems of public education may be able to see the threat in vouchers negotiable in sectarian schools.