Rivers v. Roadway Express, Inc., 511 U.S. 298, 17 (1994)

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314

RIVERS v. ROADWAY EXPRESS, INC.

Blackmun, J., dissenting

Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.

[For opinion of Justice Scalia concurring in the judgment, see ante, p. 286.]

Justice Blackmun, dissenting.

For the reasons stated in my dissent in Landgraf v. USI Film Products, ante, p. 294, I also dissent in this case. Here, just as in Landgraf, the most natural reading of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, 105 Stat. 1071, and this Court's precedents is that 101 applies to cases pending on appeal on the statute's enactment date, at least where application of the new provision would not disturb the parties' vested rights or settled expectations. This is such a case.

In 1986, when respondent Roadway Express, Inc., discharged petitioners Maurice Rivers and Robert C. Davison from their jobs as garage mechanics, 42 U. S. C. 1981, which gives all persons the same right to "make and enforce contracts," 1 was widely understood to apply to the discriminatory enforcement and termination of employment contracts. See Johnson v. Railway Express Agency, Inc., 421 U. S. 454, 459-460 (1975) ("Although this Court has not specifically so held, it is well settled among the Federal Courts of Appeals—and we now join them—that 1981 affords a federal remedy against discrimination in private employment on the basis of race"). This understanding comports with 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, 105 Stat. 1072, providing that "the term 'make and enforce contracts' includes the making, performance, modification, and termination of contracts, and

1 Until the 1991 amendment, 1981 stated: "All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts . . . as is enjoyed by white citizens . . . ."

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