Women brought suit challenging the validity of the MA veteran's preference statute as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
The statute says that all veterans who qualify for state civil service positions must be considered for appointment ahead of any qualified nonveterans.
The preference operates overwhelmingly to the advantage of males.
District Court found no discriminatory purpose but declared unconstitutional anyway.
SCOTUS reversed, law not unconstitutional.
Is knowledge that a law would have a discriminatory impact sufficient to prove discriminatory purpose?
Knowledge that a law would have a discriminatory impact is insufficient to prove discriminatory purpose.
Discriminatory purpose implies more than intent as volition or intent as awareness of consequences.
It implies that the decision maker selected of affirmed a particular course of action at least "because of" not merely "in spite of" its adverse effects upon an identifiable group.
When the totality of legislative actions establishing and extending the MA veterans' preference are considered, the law remains what it purports to be: a preference for veterans of either sex over nonveterans of either sex; not for men over women.