The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
This morning, while most reporters were focused on the midterm election, a hearty cadre of Supreme Court reporters made their way through the rain to the Supreme Court for the first "decision day" of the term.
The Court issued one decision today, a unanimous opinion in Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido, in which the Court rejected the fire district's attempt to get out from under the requirements of the Age Discrimination in Empliyment Act (ADEA). The opinion, by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is short and to the point, concluding that the ADEA provides political subdivisions no relief. Under the plain text of the act, the ADEA applies to "employers," defined to include those with 20 or more employees, their agents, and States and their political subdivisions. While one might think Congress would want to exempt at least some political subdivisions, such as those with fewer than 20 employees, that's not what Congress did in the ADEA.
As Bloomberg Law's Kimberly Robinson notes, this is the third year in a row that Justice Ginsburg has authored the first opinion of the term in an argued case. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas earned that distinction in OT2015 and OT2014 respectively.
As this case was argued on the first day of the term, Justice Kavanaugh did not participate.