County of Los Angeles v. Davis

PETITIONER: County of Los Angeles
RESPONDENT: Davis
LOCATION: United States District Court for the District of Columbia

DOCKET NO.: 77-1553
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 440 US 625 (1979)
ARGUED: Dec 05, 1978
DECIDED: Mar 27, 1979

ADVOCATES:
A. Thomas Hunt - for respondents
William F. Stewart - for petitioners

Facts of the case

Question

Media for County of Los Angeles v. Davis

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 05, 1978 in County of Los Angeles v. Davis

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - March 27, 1979 in County of Los Angeles v. Davis

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in Number 1553, County of Los Angeles against Davis will be announced by Mr. Justice Brennan.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

This case is here on writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The District Court for the Central District of California determined in 1973 that certain hiring practices in the County of Los Angeles respecting the County Fire Department violated 42 United States Code Section 1981.

The District Court in an unreported opinion and order permanently enjoined all future discrimination and entered a remedial hiring order.

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded the clause for further consideration.

We granted certiorari to consider questions presented as to whether the use of arbitrary employment criteria racially exclusionary in operation, but not purposefully discriminatory, violates 42 U.S.C. 1981, and if so, whether the imposition of minimum hiring quotas for fully qualified minority applicants is an appropriate remedy in this employment discrimination case. Unfortunately, we can't reach those questions.

We now find that the controversy has become moot during the pendency of this litigation. Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the Court of Appeals and direct that court to modify its remand as to direct the District Court to dismiss the action.

Mr. Justice Stewart dissents and has filed a dissenting opinion in which Mr. Justice Rehnquist joins.

Mr. Justice Powell also dissents and has also filed a dissenting opinion in which the Chief Justice joins.

Thank you, Mr. Justice Brennan.