General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline, 540 U.S. 581, 8 (2004)

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Opinion of the Court

B. Johnson, Vol. 1, Jan. 23, 1967, p. 37 (1968) (message to Congress urging that "[o]pportunity . . . be opened to the many Americans over 45 who are qualified and willing to work"). Extensive House and Senate hearings ensued. See Age Discrimination in Employment: Hearings on H. R. 3651 et al. before the General Subcommittee on Labor of the House Committee on Education and Labor, 90th Cong., 1st Sess. (1967) (hereinafter House Hearings); Age Discrimination in Employment: Hearings on S. 830 and S. 788 before the Subcommittee on Labor of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, 90th Cong., 1st Sess. (1967) (hereinafter Senate Hearings). See generally EEOC v. Wyoming, 460 U. S. 226, 229-233 (1983).

The testimony at both hearings dwelled on unjustified assumptions about the effect of age on ability to work. See, e. g., House Hearings 151 (statement of Rep. Joshua Eilberg) ("At age 40, a worker may find that age restrictions become common . . . . By age 45, his employment opportunities are likely to contract sharply; they shrink more severely at age 55 and virtually vanish by age 65"); id., at 422 (statement of Rep. Claude Pepper) ("We must provide meaningful opportunities for employment to the thousands of workers 45 and over who are well qualified but nevertheless denied jobs which they may desperately need because someone has arbitrarily decided that they are too old"); Senate Hearings 34 (statement of Sen. George Murphy) ("[A]n older worker often faces an attitude on the part of some employers that prevents him from receiving serious consideration or even an interview in his search for employment").3 The hearings specif-3 See also House Hearings 449 (statement of Rep. James A. Burke) ("Discrimination arises for [the older job seeker] because of assumptions that are made about the effects of age on performance"); Senate Hearings 179 (statement of Dr. Harold L. Sheppard) ("[O]ne of the underlying conditions for this upward trend in unemployment rates for a given group of so-called older workers over a period of time . . . is related to the barrier of age discrimination"); id., at 215 (statement of Sen. Harrison A. Williams)

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