No. 87-107.

491 U.S. 164 (1989)

109 S.Ct. 2363

105 L.Ed.2d 132


Supreme Court of United States.

Reargued October 12, 1988

Decided June 15, 1989

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Julius LeVonne Chambers reargued the cause for petitioner. Penda D. Hair argued the cause for petitioner on the original argument. With them on the briefs were Charles Stephen Ralston, Gail J. Wright, Eric Schnapper, Ronald L. Ellis, Harold L. Kennedy III, and Harvey L. Kennedy.

Roger S. Kaplan reargued the cause for respondent. H. Lee Davis, Jr., argued the cause for respondent on the original argument. With them on the briefs were George E. Doughton, Jr., Anthony H. Atlas, Gary R. Kessler, and Earl M. Maltz.*

Robert E. Williams, Douglas S. McDowell, and Lorence L. Kessler filed a brief for the Equal Employment Advisory Council as amicus curiae urging affirmance.

Briefs of amici curiae were filed for 66 Members of the United States Senate et al. by John H. Pickering, Timothy B. Dyk, James E. Coleman, Jr., John Payton, Kerry W. Kircher, Edward H. Levi, Laurence H. Tribe, and William L. Taylor; for the State of New York et al. by Robert Abrams, Attorney General of New York, O. Peter Sherwood, Solicitor General, Suzanne M. Lynn and Sanford M. Cohen, Assistant Attorneys General, James M. Shannon, Attorney General of Massachusetts, Barbara B. Dickey and Douglas T. Shwarz, Assistant Attorneys General, Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General of Minnesota, Robert M. Spire, Attorney General of Nebraska, Dave Frohnmayer, Attorney General of Oregon, T. Travis Medlock, Attorney General of South Carolina, W. J. Michael Cody, Attorney General of Tennessee, Don Siegelman, Attorney General of Alabama, Grace Berg Schaible, Attorney General of Alaska, John Steven Clark, Attorney General of Arkansas, John K. Van de Kamp, Attorney General of California, Duane Woodard, Attorney General of Colorado, Joseph Lieberman, Attorney General of Connecticut, Charles M. Oberly, Attorney General of Delaware, Robert Butterworth, Attorney General of Florida, Michael J. Bowers, Attorney General of Georgia, Warren Price III, Attorney General of Hawaii, Jim Jones, Attorney General of Idaho, Neil F. Hartigan, Attorney General of Illinois, Linley E. Pearson, Attorney General of Indiana, Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General of Iowa, Robert T. Stephan, Attorney General of Kansas, Frederick J. Cowan, Attorney General of Kentucky, William J. Guste, Jr., Attorney General of Louisiana, James E. Tierney, Attorney General of Maine, J. Joseph Curran, Jr., Attorney General of Maryland, Frank J. Kelley, Attorney General of Michigan, Michael C. Moore, Attorney General of Mississippi, William L. Webster, Attorney General of Missouri, Mike Greely, Attorney General of Montana, Brian McKay, Attorney General of Nevada, Stephen E. Merrill, Attorney General of New Hampshire, Cary Edwards, Attorney General of New Jersey, Lacy H. Thornburg, Attorney General of North Carolina, Nicholas Spaeth, Attorney General of North Dakota, Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr., Attorney General of Ohio, Robert Henry, Attorney General of Oklahoma, LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General of Pennsylvania, James E. O'Neil, Attorney General of Rhode Island, Roger A. Tellinghuisen, Attorney General of South Dakota, Jim Mattox, Attorney General of Texas, Jeffrey Amestoy, Attorney General of Vermont, Mary Sue Terry, Attorney General of Virginia, Kenneth O. Eikenberry, Attorney General of Washington, Charles G. Brown, Attorney General of West Virginia, Don Hanaway, Attorney General of Wisconsin, Joseph B. Meyer, Attorney General of Wyoming, Godfrey R. deCastro, Acting Attorney General of the Virgin Islands, Frederick D. Cooke, Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia, Hector Rivera-Cruz, Attorney General of Puerto Rico, and Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson, Attorney General of Guam; for the American Bar Association by Robert MacCrate, William H. Allen, and Mitchell F. Dolin; for the American Jewish Congress et al. by Marvin E. Frankel and Marc D. Stern; for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York et al. by Jonathan Lang, Howard J. Aibel, and Charles S. Sims; for the Center for Civil Rights by Clint Bolick, Jerald L. Hill, and Mark J. Bredemeier; for the Center for Constitutional Rights et al. by Esmeralda Simmons, Arthur Kinoy, Frank E. Deale, and Wilhelm Joseph; for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law by Thomas D. Barr, Robert F. Mullen, Conrad K. Harper, Stuart J. Land, Norman Redlich, William L. Robinson, Judith A. Winston, Richard T. Seymour, Stephen L Spitz, Albert E. Arent, Thomas I. Atkins, St. John Barrett, Wiley A. Branton, Sr., Paul A. Brest, David R. Brink, William H. Brown III, Ramsey Clark, Jerome A. Cooper, Michael A. Cooper, Lloyd N. Cutler, James T. Danaher, Drew S. Days III, Armand Derfner, Paul R. Dimond, John W. Douglas, Victor M. Earle III, Robert Ehrenbard, Fred N. Fishman, MacDonald Flinn, Laurence S. Fordham, Eleanor M. Fox, John D. French, Lloyd K. Garrison, A. Spencer Gilbert III, Joan Hall, Herbert J. Hansell, John B. Jones, Stuart L. Kadison, Robert H. Kapp, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, Robert M. Landis, Jerome B. Libin, John V. Lindsay, Hans F. Loeser, Henry L. Marsh III, Robert W. Meserve, Robert B. McKay, Peter P. Mullen, Robert A. Murphy, John E. Nolan, Jr., Kenneth Penegar, Charles S. Rhyne, Elliot L. Richardson, James Robertson, Mitchell Rogovin, Edwin A. Rothschild, Stephen H. Sachs, Bernard G. Segal, Jerome G. Shapiro, Jerome J. Shestack, Asa D. Sokolow, Chesterfield Smith, David S. Tatel, Randolph W. Thrower, John E. Tobin, Michael Traynor, Marna S. Tucker, Harold R. Tyler, Jr., Herbert M. Wachtell, and Howard P. Willens; for the Washington Legal Foundation et al. by Daniel J. Popeo and Paul D. Kamenar; for J. Philip Anderegg, pro se; for Carol L. Bisharat et al. by Eva Jefferson Paterson, Nathaniel Colley, William C. McNeill III, and Robert L. Harris; for Curtis McCrary et al. by Gary T. Brown; and for Eric Foner et al. by Richard D. Parsons.

JUSTICE KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court.

In this case, we consider important issues respecting the meaning and coverage of one of our oldest civil rights statutes, 42 U. S. C. § 1981.


Petitioner Brenda Patterson, a black woman, was employed by respondent McLean Credit Union as a teller and a file coordinator, commencing in May 1972. In July 1982...

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