Civil Procedure Keyed to Yeazell
Martin v. Wilks
Litigation giving rise to this lawsuit began in 1974 when the NAACP and seven individuals filed separate class action lawsuits against the City of Birmingham and the city’s hiring board, alleging violations of the Act. The parties entered into consent decrees, setting forth an extensive remedial scheme, including long-term and interim annual goals for the hiring and promotion of blacks as firefighters. Before final approval of the decrees, the Birmingham Firefighters Association (BFA) appeared and filed objections as amicus curiae. The BFA also moved to intervene on the ground that the decrees would adversely affect their rights. The district court denied relief. The Wilks Respondents, a new group of white firefighters (Respondents), in the present case then brought suit against the city and the board in district court for making race conscious employment decisions. The Martin Petitioners, a group of black individuals (Petitioners), were allowed to intervene in their individual capacities to defend the decrees. Petitioners moved to dismiss the reverse discrimination cases as impermissible collateral attacks on the consent decrees. The district court granted the motion to dismiss. On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed. The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) granted certiorari.
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