Last week, we blogged about the Supreme Court opening its term with an age discrimination case, Madigan v. Levin. The case raised the question of whether a public sector employee can circumvent the procedural and damages limitations in the statutory Age Discrimination in Employment Act by pursuing a claim under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
As we discussed last week, the Justices seemed skeptical at oral argument whether the Court should have taken the case in the first place. Rules for appellate review are highly technical, and the Supreme Court takes cases only under very limited circumstances. The Court seemed to think that, procedurally, the case was not fit for review at this point. Not surprisingly, this morning the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal without ruling on the merits, noting that the case should not have been accepted for review. The case will now return to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for further proceedings.
Because there is still disagreement in the Courts on the ultimate issue, the Levin case may eventually make its way back to the Supreme Court. At least for now, however, because the Court did not rule on the merits, it will remain relatively unsettled whether public sector employees with age discrimination claims may avoid the procedural and damages limitations in the ADEA by bringing an age bias claim under the Fourteenth Amendment. Stay tuned.