On This Date in Legal History

On March 8, 1971, the United States Supreme Court decided Griggs v. Duke Power Co. The question presented was– could Duke Power require a potential employee to either have a high school education or pass an intelligence test, when neither criteria correlated with job capability. Those prerequisites disqualified African Americans from working in certain departments at a substantially higher rate than white applicants. The Court held that even in cases where there’s no discriminatory intent, if the employment practice discriminates against an individual based on race, then it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Chief Justice Burger wrote—“Congress has not commanded that the less qualified be preferred over the better qualified simply because of minority origins. Far from disparaging job qualifications as such, Congress has made such qualifications the controlling factor, so that race, religion, nationality, and sex become irrelevant. What Congress has commanded is that any tests used must measure the person for the job and not the person in the abstract.”  To listen to the oral arguments before the Court go to https://goo.gl/qd6333.


While you’re at the United States Supreme Court visit the gift shop. You’ll find many interesting, educational, fun, gifts.

About Tina Nelson
Tina Nelson

Tina Nelson is an attorney and mom. She created the LAWSUIT™ board game to teach her three children about the law. The game was an instant success. Copyrights and a patent were obtained, and Professional Games, Inc. was born. Professional Games, Inc. created this blog to educate and keep its friends and customers regularly updated about our American legal system.
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