The Burger Court (1969–86)

Court Decisions

Did the Burger Court rule that Title VII protected all races?

Yes, the Burger Court ruled in McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transportation Company (1976) that the terms of Title VII “are not limited to discrimination against members of any particular race.” The case involved claims by two white employees of a transportation company who were terminated for stealing cans of antifreeze. The white employees claimed discrimination because a black employee who also took the cans of antifreeze was not fired. The white employees claimed that its employer treated them worse because of their race. “While Santa Fe may decide that participation in a theft of cargo may render an employee unqualified for employment, this criterion must be applied, alike to members of all races,” the Court wrote.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App