Gregory v. Ashcroft

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Gregory v. Ashcroft, 501 U.S. 452 (1991), was a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of states' rights against a claim that a mandatory retirement provision for judges (at age 70) in Article V, § 26, of the Missouri Constitution was contrary to federal law and the Equal Protection Clause. The Court rejected the challenge to the state regulation because it would “alter the ‘usual constitutional balance between the States and the Federal Government.’” Id. at 460 (quoting Atascadero State Hosp. v. Scanlon, 473 U.S. 234, 242 (1985)). “[I]t is incumbent upon the federal courts to be certain of Congress’ intent” before infringing on the state regulation. Id. (quotation marks and citation omitted).

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the opinion for the Court, over liberal dissent.

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