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Abstract

The author questions whether the dicta in a recent Supreme Court case, Local Union No. 1784 v. Stotts, effectively narrow the scope of relief available under Title VII to non-victims. Specifically, the Court addressed affirmative action and the possible reparations under a Title VII employment race discrimination class action. The dicta in question appear to limit courts' ability to grant relief to "non-victims" (individuals who were not named parties in an employment discrimination suit) in the form of consent decrees or post-trial injunctive relief. The author examines Supreme Court caselaw on affirmative action, the legislative history of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Title VII before determining that race-based employment discrimination is inherently a "group" wrong. Therefore, limiting recovery and injunctive relief to members of the group who were not named parties in the suit betrays the spirit of Title VII and penalizes minority employees and job applicants.

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