Federal law prohibiting employment discrimination
Ellis v. North Carolina
In Ellis, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 23717 (4th Cir. 2002), the Fourth Circuit reversed Boyle for apparently disregarding the fundamental principle that the Eleventh Amendment does not protect state defendants from suits challenging employment discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In this case, Boyle dismissed plaintiff Betty Ellis’s claim of employment discrimination, holding that the Eleventh Amendment made North Carolina immune from the suit. In a brief per curiam opinion, the Fourth Circuit cited several Supreme Court precedents to illustrate the basic principle that in enacting Title VII, Congress properly abrogated the states’ Eleventh Amendment immunity. Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer, 427 U.S. 445, 456-7 (1976); Alden v. Maine, 527 U.S. 706, 755-57 (1999). The court vacated Boyle’s decision and remanded for further proceedings. 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 23717 (4th Cir. 2002). Boyle’s ruling would have contradicted decades of precedent and allowed state agencies to blatantly violate fundamental federal anti-job bias laws.33
The Americans with Disabilities Act
Boyle has frequently demonstrated hostility toward the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and has taken several opportunities to find that Congress exceeded its powers in making the ADA applicable to states, contrary to Supreme Court precedent.