[Blackmun Notes Before Oral Argument 03/26/89 hab528F60066]1

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[Blackmun Notes Before Oral Argument 03/26/89 HAB528F60066]1


7-2084, 88-214 Jett v. Dallas Ind Sch Dist
Job termination by School District and suit under 1981 and 1983

Jett a High School football coach. Removal recommended by Principal Todd and OK’d by Superintendent Wright

Jett is white and his [illegible] high school was growing black. His claim rested on race.

Jett got a [illegible] $850,000 and $50,000 punitives2

District Court, on JNOV motion, OK’d, with remittitur for $450,000 and $112,000 fees.

Todd liable on fees and $50,000 of the damages. (Todd settled)

Fifth Circuit reversed and remanded for a new trial.

1983 Todd’s recommendation was based on race, but District not liable under 1983 because Todd not a policy maker per Pembaur, 475 U.S. 469.

Wright was a policy maker but insufficient evidence his OK was based on race.

1981 Here no liability per respondeat superior. Standard of liability under 1981 and 1983 the same, i.e., “official policy” requirement under Monell, 436 U.S. 658 governs 1981.

2084 214

I would reverse (1981) and remand (1983)

Patterson we unanimously hold 1981 prohibits racial discrimination by private employers and that McDonald Douglas / Burdine 3 framework applies to 1981 suits, i.e., official’s policy making authority irrelevant.

1981 applies to local school districts and VII4

Reject argument that 1981 violation cannot be made same [illegible] 1983

1983 a very different statute. 1981 rests on contract.

Reject argument that, even if 1981[illegible] cause of action, Monell applies

Need to read
ontract liability differs from tort liability per 1983 and its non respondeat superior. Therefore, respondeat superior
can apply if necessary facts are proved. Under contract theory employer is liable for wrongful termination by.

1983 issue here only an application of Praprotnik. Issue whether Wright a policymaker.

I stick with concurrence in Praprotnik. Therefore remand.

Reverse 26 March 1989

1  Words added by the editor for clarity are enclosed in brackets as are editor comments. Interpretations of which the editor is particularly uncertain are indicated in italics and alternative interpretations may be indicated in footnotes. Red and blue underlining appears to have been added in those colors later. Double underlining indicates that the text was underlined originally, and then underlined in color later. Text in the left margin is placed approximately where it appears in the document itself.

2 The $50,000 punitive damages were actually part of the total amount.

3 Presumably this refers to the framework for proving disparate treatment, racial discrimination set forth in McDonald Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973) and Texas Dept. of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248 (1981)

4 Possibly meaning that both § 1983 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act applied to school districts.

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