Weinberger v. Rossi

LOCATION:Furnace Woods School

DOCKET NO.: 80-1924
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 456 US 25 (1982)
ARGUED: Feb 22, 1982
DECIDED: Mar 31, 1982

Barbara E. Etkind – on behalf of the Petitioners
Randy M. Mott – on behalf of the Respondents

Facts of the case


Media for Weinberger v. Rossi

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – February 22, 1982 in Weinberger v. Rossi

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – March 31, 1982 in Weinberger v. Rossi

Warren E. Burger:

The judgments and opinion of the Court in Weinberger, the Secretary of Defense against Rossi will be announced by Justice Rehnquist.

William H. Rehnquist:

Section 106 of Public Law Number 92-129 enacted in 1971 prohibits employment discrimination against United States citizens on military basis overseas unless permitted by “treaty”.

The question in this case is whether the word treaty is used in the 1971 Act includes executive agreements concluded by the President with the host country or whether instead it is limited to those international agreements entered into by the President when the advice and consent of the Senate pursuant to Article II of the United States Constitution.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that the statutory language in question included only Article II treaties.

Our examination of the legislative history, the meaning of the language Congress used and other applicable canons of construction leads us to a different conclusion.

In an opinion filed today with the clerk, we hold that the word treaty in Section 106 embraces executive agreements such as we’re involved in this case as well as Article II treaties.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is therefore reversed.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Justice Rehnquist.