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Monday, October 06, 2008

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit issues one Indiana opinion today

In Burrus, et al. v. State Lottery Commission (SD Ind., Judge Barker), a 13-page opinion, Judge Manion writes:

Plaintiffs, seven former employees of the State Lottery Commission of Indiana, which does business under the name Hoosier Lottery (hereinafter “Lottery”), sued their former employer under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They claimed that they were fired because of their race. The Lottery moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ § 1981 claims on the basis that it was a state agency and therefore entitled to sovereign immunity pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment. The district court denied the Lottery’s motion, and we affirm. * * *

This appeal presents only one issue: whether the Lottery is entitled to assert state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment to defeat the plaintiffs’ § 1981 claims. Our review of that issue is de novo. Wisconsin v. Ho- Chunk Nation, 512 F.3d 921, 929 (7th Cir. 2008) (noting that a grant or denial of sovereign immunity is reviewed de novo). * * *

The Lottery is not entitled to sovereign immunity because it is not an arm of the state. We therefore AFFIRM the decision of the district court denying the Lottery immunity from the plaintiffs’ 42 U.S.C. § 1981 claims.

Well worth reading.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 6, 2008 01:21 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions