University of Tennessee v. Elliott

PETITIONER: University of Tennessee
LOCATION: Dow Chemical

DOCKET NO.: 85-588
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 478 US 788 (1986)
ARGUED: Apr 21, 1986
DECIDED: Jul 07, 1986

Beauchamp E. Brogan - on behalf of Petitioners
Ronald L. Ellis - on behalf of Respondent

Facts of the case


Media for University of Tennessee v. Elliott

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 21, 1986 in University of Tennessee v. Elliott

Warren E. Burger:

We'll hear arguments first this morning in Tennessee against Elliott.

Mr. Brogan, I think you may proceed whenever you're ready.

Beauchamp E. Brogan:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court:

This case arises under the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution and its implementing statute, 28 U.S. Code Section 1738.

The issue before the Court is whether traditional principles of full faith and credit apply in actions under the Reconstruction statutes and Title VII to issues fairly and fully litigated before a state agency acting in a judicial capacity.

Petitioners seek issue preclusion in this action on the basis of a prior state adjudication under the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedure Act, which Respondent voluntarily invoked for the purpose of protecting his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

This prior adjudication was not rendered by a Title VII federal agency within the EEOC Title VII enforcement scheme, but was rendered completely outside the Title VII enforcement scheme.

Petitioners contend that under the decisions of this Court traditional principles of full faith and credit apply to state agency adjudications as well as state court adjudications, unless exempted by Congress.

Petitioners further contend that neither the Reconstruction statutes nor Title VII repeals the full faith and credit doctrine is applied to state agency adjudications.

Mr. Brogan, the Respondent here stated claims under both Title VII and under the Constitution, did he not?

Beauchamp E. Brogan:

Under 1983 and Title VII, yes.

Warren E. Burger:


Beauchamp E. Brogan:

The Reconstruction statutes.

--And you claim that there should be issue preclusion with respect to both of those claims?

Beauchamp E. Brogan:

Yes, sir, issue preclusion only, not claim preclusion, with respect to both 1983... and when I refer to 1983, I'll include all of the Reconstruction statutes which Respondent sued under, 1981 and so forth.

But we contend that issue preclusion, not claim preclusion, applies to both 1983 and Title VII on the basis of this prior adjudication, which was a judicial proceeding under the state law of the State of Tennessee.

It was under the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedure Act that was voluntarily invoked by the Respondent.

It was not a part of the Title VII enforcement scheme.

Well, what if we disagree with you on the Title VII?

Is the case over or not?

Beauchamp E. Brogan:

No, sir, I don't think so.

I think that you could plausibly reach a different conclusion as to 1983.

But I think the same rule applies.

I don't think--

What difference would it make if we said that no preclusion under Title VII?

What would be left?

Beauchamp E. Brogan:

--Well, there would be a lot left.

1983, as this Court has held, the procedures--

You mean the plaintiff would still have further relief even if ha could get all the relief he wanted under Title VII... I mean, even if he got all the relief that Title VII would afford him, would there be still further relief under his other cause of action?

Beauchamp E. Brogan:

--Well, yes, because under 1983, as this Court has held, the relief and the remedies and the procedure for effecting that relief are entirely different.