465 U.S. 1056 (1984)

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U.S. Supreme Court

LEHMAN v. TROUT , 465 U.S. 1056 (1984)

465 U.S. 1056

John F. LEHMAN, Jr., Secretary of the Navy, et al.
Yvonne G. TROUT et al
No. 83-706

Supreme Court of the United States

February 27, 1984

On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The petition for a writ of

certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit with instructions to remand the case to the District Court for findings of fact, based on new evidence if necessary, on the question what evidentiary value respondents' and petitioners' statistical evidence has in light of the Court of Appeals' conclusions of law concerning employment decisions that are not actionable in this case. See Pullman-Standard v. Swint, 456 U.S. 273, 292, 1792 (1982). The overall sufficiency of the evidence should then be considered in light of United States Postal Service Bd. of Govs. v. Aikens, 460 U.S. ___ (1983).

Justice STEVENS, with whom Justice BRENNAN and Justice MARSHALL join dissenting.

This litigation began in 1973. In four consolidated cases a class of female professional employees employed by the Naval Command Support Activity of the Navy Regional Data Automation

Page 465 U.S. 1056 , 1057

Center (NAVCOSSACT/NARDAC) alleged that petitioners discriminated against them on the basis of their sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e to 2000e-17. After a long trial-the record includes the testimony of 42 witnesses and over 7500 pages of exhibits 1 the District Court found discrimination in both hiring and promotion. The findings were supported by statistical evidence, expert testimony, and nonstatistical evidence covering specific instances of discrimination.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's finding of discrimination in promotion, but held that petitioners were not responsible for the hiring discrimination that had been proved-another federal agency 2 had done the discriminatory hiring-and also that petitioners were not liable for discriminatory conduct prior to 1972. Thus, the "employment decisions that are not actionable in this case" are ( 1) hiring decisions, and (2) pre-1972 discrimination. The order the Court enters today requires that this case be remanded to the District Court for additional findings of fact on the evidentiary value of respondents' statistical evidence in the light of these two conclusions. The Court's decision overlooks the fact that both the District Court and the Court of Appeals have already done exactly what the Court orders.

The Court of Appeals has already considered the impact of both of the District Court's errors on its findings concerning discrimination in promotion, and has squarely held that those findings are adequately supported by the remaining evidence. Thus, with respect to the pre-1972 discrimination, the Court of Appeals stated:

"By grouping nonactionable hiring decisions with those for which NAVCOSSACT/NARDAC could properly be held liable, certain of the plaintiffs' statistical analyses hold the potential for some distortion concerning the adverse impact of the appellants' post-1972 promotion policies. However, it is clear that the plaintiffs did not rely solely on data regarding [465 U.S. 1056 , 1058]

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