CASE LAW 5
America,through its Constitution, believes in the civil rights and libertiesof its people. Hence, over the years, several legal amendments havetaken place to ensure that the country maintains its position on thematter. One such action is the 14thamendment, which is a legislative action that sought to make surethat America upheld civil rights by promising its residents equalitybefore the law and citizenship rights. Furthermore, the Title VII ofthe Civil Rights Acts of 1964 confirms America’s commitment tocivil rights by promoting equality of its citizens throughprohibiting discrimination in employment. However, the realization ofthese promises for employees of state institutions may be hindered bythe 11thamendment. The 11thAmendment offers state agencies immunity against legal action, whichunfortunately may be waived under specific circumstances. Thus, thecase study under review presents an opportunity to examine theparticular circumstances that would cause a revocation of statesovereign immunity. Additionally, if indeed the plaintiff, Dr.Nonesuch may sue the state then, this is a chance to examine whetherhe has sufficient grounds to seek remedies against Sunshine hospitalfor wrongful termination.
Theprimary issue, in this case, is to establish whether Dr. Nonesuchissue warrants a waiver of the state`s sovereign immunity either viaCongress or an injunction against Sunshine officials in recognitionof their designation as state officials in a federal court. Thelatter may not be a viable option since the hospital management staffare state employees or civil servants and not state officials.However, it may be possible to achieve a revocation through theCongress, but a certain constitutional threshold must be achieved asguided by the abrogation doctrine.
Accordingto Williamson Institute Report (n.d), the Congress may abrogate statesovereignty of immunity if by doing so they seek to enforceconstitutional rights under the 14thAmendment that require protection. By waiving the state’s immunity,the Congress will have accorded Mr. Nonesuch an opportunity to seekprivate action against Sunshine Hospital under the EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
UnderENDA, the Congress may consider that by upholding the 11thamendment, Dr. Nonesuch would be denied his right to equal protectionof the law owing to the revelation of his sexual and gender identity.Additionally, the failure to revoke the state immunity would amountto denying the plaintiff his due process right since the issuesregarding sexual orientation are protected by the Due Process Clauseof the 14thAmendment. The argument by the defendant that the plaintiff failed todisclose his sex at birth during his application and subsequentinterview may strengthen the Congress’s consideration that byfailing to abrogate it may be allowing the state to justify apossible infringement of confidentiality rights as outlined in theDue Process Clause.
Accordingto the Williamson Institute Report (n.d), the law is clear thatquestioning an applicant or an employee about their sexual behavioror orientation is a discriminatory practice. Furthermore, itconstitutes a violation of one’s constitutional right of shunningfrom disclosing his or her personal matters of no compellingsignificance to the government. The manner in which the plaintiff`semployment was terminated also offers sufficient grounds for denialof the due process. The Due Process Clause of the 14thamendment demands that as a government employee, the plaintiff wasentitled to meaningful time to respond to his supervisor`s commentsbefore the hospital`s management made an impartial decision. Themanner in which the plaintiff was dismissed perverts the correctprocedure for compensation of an employee and amounts to theviolation of the plaintiff`s procedural due process. Lastly, theCongress must consider that the plaintiff disclosed his sexualidentity to his supervisor and that the subsequent action to fire himdue to his sexual orientation as well as gender identity amounted toan infringement of his right to expression and association. TheCongress’s failure to revoke the state’s immunity would leave theplaintiff without a recourse action to argue of his right violationsunder the 14thamendment.
Evidently,the plaintiff has sufficient grounds to request the Congress toabrogate the state’s immunity and allow him an opportunity to seekprivate action against the defendant. When this goal is realized, theplaintiff will have a chance to fight the wrongful termination. As itstands, the plaintiff lost his job because he failed to disclose hisgender orientation, and based on employment laws, such matters do notwarrant a breach of employment contract. Moreover, the denial ofemployment-related rights constitutes to a denial of property rights.In principle, the plaintiff deserved an opportunity for a hearing andresponding before being deprived paternity leave and the request toadd his wife as a beneficiary of his retirement plan.
Toconclude, the plaintiff has enough reasons to appeal to the Congressto uphold the 14thamendment and waive the defendant’s sovereignty of immunity so thathe can take private action for wrongful dismissal, denial of propertyrights, and absence of due process when handling his issues. Theappeal at the Supreme Court gives Dr. Nonesuch a chance to have hiscivil rights and liberties upheld and honored. Such action would onceagain affirm America’s determination and promise to protect thecivil rights and liberties of its people.
TheWilliamson Institute. Chapter2: Congressional Abrogation of State Sovereign Immunity
underSection 5 of the 14 th Amendment(1st ed.). UCLA. Retrieved fromhttps://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/2_SovereignImmunityStandard.pdf