Carson v. American Brands, Inc.

PETITIONER: Carson
RESPONDENT: American Brands, Inc.
LOCATION: Congress

DOCKET NO.: 79-1236
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

CITATION: 450 US 79 (1981)
ARGUED: Dec 10, 1980
DECIDED: Feb 25, 1981

ADVOCATES:
Harlon L. Dalton - on behalf of the United States and the E.E.O.C. as amici curiae
Henry T. Wickham - on behalf of the Respondent American Brands, Inc
Jay J. Levit - on behalf of the Respondent Unions
Napoleon B. Williams, Jr. - on behalf of the Petitioners

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Carson v. American Brands, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 10, 1980 in Carson v. American Brands, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 25, 1981 in Carson v. American Brands, Inc.

Warren E. Burger:

Mr. Justice Brennan has two opinions to announce for the Court.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

The first, 79-1236, Carson versus American Brands, Inc. is here from the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

It's a class action under 42 U.S.C. 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to remedy alleged discrimination in hiring, promotion, transfer, and training opportunities on racial grounds.

The parties to this suit arrived at a settlement agreement that would have required the respondent employer to give hiring and seniority preferences to black employees and would have permanently enjoined the respondents from discrimination against black employees.

And the parties after reaching the agreement jointly moved the District Court to approve and under their proposed consent decree.

The District Court denied the motion and petitioners then sought to appeal the denial embodied in an interlocutory order to the Court of Appeals.

And that Court sitting en banc dismissed the appeal for want of the jurisdiction holding that the refusal of the District Court to enter the consent decree was neither an appealable collateral order under 28 U.S.C. Section 1291 nor an appealable interlocutory order refusing an injunction under 28 U.S.C. 1292 (a) (1).

We disagree with the Court of Appeals, we unanimously hold that the order denying the motion to enter the consent decree was an interlocutory order refusing an injunction under 1292 (a) (1).

We accordingly reverse the Court of Appeals without reaching the question whether the order was also appealable under 28 U.S.C. 1291.