General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline, 540 U.S. 581, 31 (2004)

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Cite as: 540 U. S. 581 (2004)

Thomas, J., dissenting

whether there were incidents of discrimination against whites, and I find no citation to any such incidents.

In sum, there is no record evidence "that [white] workers were suffering at the expense of [racial minorities]," and in 1964, discrimination against whites in favor of racial minorities was hardly "a social problem requir[ing] a federal statute to place a [white] worker in parity with [racial minorities]." Ante, at 591. Thus, "talk about discrimination because of [race would] naturally [be] understood to refer to discrimination against [racial minorities]." Ibid. In light of the Court's opinion today, it appears that this Court has been treading down the wrong path with respect to Title VII since at least 1976.5 See McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transp. Co., 427 U. S. 273 (1976) (holding that Title VII protected whites discriminated against in favor of racial minorities).

In McDonald, the Court relied on the fact that the terms of Title VII, prohibiting the discharge of "any individual" because of "such individual's race," 42 U. S. C. 2000e- 2(a)(1), "are not limited to discrimination against members of any particular race." 427 U. S., at 278-279. Admittedly, the Court there also relied on the EEOC's interpretation of Title VII as given in its decisions, id., at 279-280, and also on statements from the legislative history of the enactment of Title VII. See id., at 280 (citing 110 Cong. Rec., at 2578 (remarks of Rep. Celler); id., at 7218 (memorandum of Sen. Clark); id., at 7213 (memorandum of Sens. Clark and Case); id., at 8912 (remarks of Sen. Williams)). But, in the instant case, as I have already noted above, see supra, at 605, the EEOC has issued a regulation and a binding EEOC decision adopting the view contrary to the Court's and in line with the interpretation of Title VII. And, again as already noted, see supra, at 606, the only relevant piece of legislative history with respect to the question before the Court is in the same posture as the legislative history behind Title VII:

5 The same could likely be said, of course, of most, if not all, of the other provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


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