Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts v. Feeney
PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATOR OF MASSACHUSETTS V. FEENEY
PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATOR OF MASSACHUSETTS V. FEENEY, 442 U.S. 256 (1979), a Supreme Court case that considered whether a Massachusetts law giving veterans a lifetime preference in filling open civil service positions discriminated against women in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Helen B. Feeney was a civil servant who received higher grades on civil service examinations than male veterans. Because of the preference law, however, males repeatedly were promoted over her. Twice the federal district court declared the law unconstitutional. The state of Massachusetts, supported by the solicitor general of the United States, appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court in a seven-to-two decision sustained the law.
A basic question was whether the effect of the preference classification was "purposeful discrimination." It was generally agreed that the statute disproportionately affected women. Until 1967 there had been a 2 percent quota on women in the military. Male nonveterans, however, suffered from this preferred treatment as much as female nonveterans. Because it distinguished between veterans and nonveterans, not between women and men, the Court detected no discriminatory purpose in the statute. The opinion raised the standard for proving gender discrimination by obliging plantiffs to prove that the legislature that drafted the statute in question specifically intended the law to achieve the foreseeable discriminatory outcome.
Rosenblum, Bruce E. "Discriminatory Purpose and Disproportionate Impact: An Assessment after Feeney." Columbia Law Review 79 (November 1979).
"Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts v. Feeney." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.
"Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts v. Feeney." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/personnel-administrator-massachusetts-v-feeney
"Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts v. Feeney." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved July 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/personnel-administrator-massachusetts-v-feeney
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.