On March 23, 2020, the Supreme Court overturned a Ninth Circuit decision that would have made it nearly impossible for defendants to win pretrial dismissal of even frivolous discrimination claims. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed an amicus brief in the case arguing that, unless Congress specifies otherwise by statute, a plaintiff seeking to prevail on a discrimination claim must show that the defendant’s discriminatory conduct was the “but-for” cause of the alleged injury. The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling vacated an unpublished Ninth Circuit decision, which allowed a plaintiff to plead a discrimination claim merely by alleging that discrimination was “a factor” in the defendant’s decision-making, even if the defendant would have made the same decision had discrimination not been a factor.


U.S. Supreme Court decision

WLF 8/15/2019 amicus brief