467 U.S. 1232 (1984)

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U.S. Supreme Court

E.E.O.C. v. ALLSTATE INS. CO. , 467 U.S. 1232 (1984)

467 U.S. 1232

No. 83-1021.

Supreme Court of the United States

June 11, 1984.

The appeal is dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

Chief Justice BURGER, with whom Justice O'CONNOR joins, dissenting.

Without explanation, the Court holds today that we lack appellate jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1252 to review a judgment of a Federal District Court holding an entire Act of Congress unconstitutional as long as the party seeking review merely purports to challenge only the remedy ordered by the District Court even though the remedy sought on appeal would necessarily require a reversal of the District Court holding that the Act is unconstitutional.a1 The practical effect of this holding is that by merely addressing a challenge only to the remedy provided by the District Court, a direct appeal to this Court from a decision of a Federal District Court holding an Act of Congress unconstitutional can be frustrated. Notwithstanding the burdens on the Court-which have more than doubled in three decades-I am unwilling to say on the basis of the scant information before us that Congress

Page 467 U.S. 1232 , 1233

intended our appellate jurisdiction under 1252 to be so easily circumvented. Because of the significance of not only the jurisdictional but the underlying substantive issues presented by this appeal, I would set the case for argument, and postpone resolution of the jurisdictional question until argument on the merits.

A brief recitation of the procedural history of this case is necessary to put the Court's holding in perspective. In 1963, Congress passed 6(d) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 6(d), known as the Equal Pay Act. The Act vested enforcement authority for the Equal Pay Act in the Secretary of Labor. However, in 1978, as part of an overall effort to centralize authority for enforcement of the various sex discrimination statutes, the Secretary's enforcement authority was transferred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978, 3 CFR 321 (1979). The Reorganization Plan was implemented pursuant to the Reorganization Act of 1977, 5 U.S.C. 901 et seq., which conferred on the President authority to reorganize Executive departments and agencies subject to certain specified congressional limitations. The Reorganization Act required the President to transmit any proposed reorganization plan to both Houses of Congress. 903. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 906(a), any plan submitted by the President became "effective" at the end of 60 days of continuous session of the Congress unless during that time either House passed a resolution of disapproval or its equivalent.

Reorganization Plan No. 1 was submitted to both Houses of Congress as required by the Reorganization Act. The House roundly rejected a resolution of disapproval. H.R.Res. 1049, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. (1978); 124 Cong.Rec. 11336-11337 (1978). Although a resolution of disapproval was not brought to a vote in the Senate, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs unanimously recommended against passage of a resolution of disapproval. S.Res. 404, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. (1978); S.Rep. No. 95-750, pp. 6, 10 (1978). Because neither House of Congress vetoed the Reorganization Plan, the Plan and the transfer of enforcement authority to appellant, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, became effective.

In April 1982, appellant filed a complaint against appellee in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, alleging that appellee was violating the Equal Pay Act by paying lower wages to female unit supervisors and underwriters than to males performing the same duties. Appellee moved for [467 U.S. 1232 , 1234]

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