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Martin v. Wilks

Significance, Reverse Discrimination, Further Readings


Robert K. Wilks, et al.


John W. Martin, et al.

Petitioner's Claim

That less qualified African Americans were being promoted instead of more qualified caucasians.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Raymond P. Fitzpatrick, Jr.

Chief Lawyers for Respondent

Robert D. Joffe, James P. Alexander

Justices for the Court

Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), Antonin Scalia, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

12 June 1989


Caucasian firefighters not involved in previous civil rights litigation were allowed to claim that promotion decisions after the previous consent decrees were racially discriminatory.

Related Cases

  • Firefighters v. Cleveland, 478 U.S. 501 (1986).
  • Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education, 476 U.S. 267 (1986).
  • Board of Education of the Township of Piscataway v. Taxman, 91 F.3d. 1547 (1996).


Constitutional Law, thirteenth edition. New York: The Foundation Press Inc.,1997.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994