Monday, October 31, 2005

This Is A Disturbing Decision.

Angry Bear has a well thought out discussion on Alito's decision in the case of CHITTISTER v. DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Wherein Judge Alito found that the FMLA violated states rights. he found:

ALITO, Circuit Judge:

In this case, we must decide whether Congress validly abrogated the states' Eleventh Amendment immunity when
it enacted provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ("FMLA"), 29 U.S.C. SS 2601-54, that require a broad class of employers, including states, to provide their employees with 12 weeks of leave "[b]ecause of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee" and that permit employees to sue in federal court for violations of the Act. We agree with the District Court in this case and with the other Courts of Appeals that have considered this question that Congress did not validly abrogate the states' Eleventh Amendment immunity when it enacted these provisions. See Hale v. Mann, No. 99-7326, 2000 WL 675209, at *7 (2d Cir. May 25, 2000); Garrett v. University of Alabama at Birmingham Board of Trustees, 193 F.3d 1214, 1219 (11th Cir. 1999), cert. granted on different issue, 120 S. Ct. 1669 (2000). We therefore affirm the decision of the District Court.
Jesbus! Even Rhenquist disagreed with him when SCOTUS ruled.
Congress may, however, abrogate such immunity in federal court if it makes its intention to abrogate unmistakably clear in the language of the statute and acts pursuant to a valid exercise of its power under §5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. See Garrett, supra, at 363; Blatchford v. Native Village of Noatak, 501 U. S. 775, 786 (1991) (citing Dellmuth v. Muth, 491 U. S. 223, 228 (1989)). The clarity of Congress' intent here is not fairly debatable. The Act enables employees to seek damages "against any employer (including a public agency) in any Federal or State court of competent jurisdiction," 29 U. S. C. §2617(a)(2), and Congress has defined "public agency" to include both "the government of a State or political subdivision thereof" and "any agency of ... a State, or a political subdivision of a State," §§203(x), 2611(4)(A)(iii).

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