O'Connor v. Consolidated Coin Caterers Corp., 517 U.S. 308, 2 (1996)

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Cite as: 517 U. S. 308 (1996)

Opinion of the Court

James B. Spears, Jr., argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Jacob J. Modla and Robert S. Phifer.*

Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court. This case presents the question whether a plaintiff alleging that he was discharged in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), 81 Stat. 602, as amended, 29 U. S. C. 621 et seq., must show that he was replaced by someone outside the age group protected by the ADEA to make out a prima facie case under the framework established by McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U. S. 792 (1973).

Petitioner James O'Connor was employed by respondent Consolidated Coin Caterers Corporation from 1978 until August 10, 1990, when, at age 56, he was fired. Claiming that he had been dismissed because of his age in violation of the ADEA, petitioner brought suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. After discovery, the District Court granted respondent's motion for summary judgment, 829 F. Supp. 155 (1993), and peti-*Steven S. Zaleznick and Cathy Ventrell-Monsees filed a brief for the American Association of Retired Persons et al. as amici curiae urging reversal.

Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the State of Maryland et al. by J. Joseph Curran, Jr., Attorney General of Maryland, and Tarra DeShields-Minnis and Andrew H. Baida, Assistant Attorneys General, and by the Attorneys General for their respective States as follows: Winston Bryant of Arkansas, M. Jane Brady of Delaware, Frank J. Kelley of Michigan, Frankie Sue Del Papa of Nevada, Deborah T. Poritz of New Jersey, Mark Barnett of South Dakota, and W. A. Drew Edmondson of Oklahoma; for the Chamber of Commerce of the United States by Marshall B. Babson, Stanley R. Strauss, Sue J. Henry, Stephen A. Bokat, Robin S. Conrad, and Mona C. Zeiberg; for the Equal Employment Advisory Council by Douglas S. McDowell; and for the New England Legal Foundation by Steven S. Ostrach and Cynthia L. Amara.

Jack L. Whitacre filed a brief for the National Retail Federation as amicus curiae.

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