07-12-10, Cases - Mass. Board of Retirement v. Murgia...

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Mass. Board of Retirement v. Murgia (1976) Facts of the Case Robert Murgia, although he was in excellent physical and mental health, was forced to retire at age fifty according to state law. Murgia had been a uniformed officer in the state police force. Murgia successfully challenged the mandatory retirement law in district court. Question Did the Massachusetts law violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment? Conclusion In a per curiam opinion, the Court held that the law did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. The Court found that the right of governmental employment was not per se fundamental, and that uniformed state police officers over 50 did not constitute a suspect class under the Clause. Applying a rational relationship test, the Court reasoned that the statute was sufficiently justified as a means of protecting the public "by assuring physical preparedness of [the] uniformed police." The Court noted that while the law may not have been the best means to accomplish this
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07-12-10, Cases - Mass. Board of Retirement v. Murgia...

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