OCTOBER TERM, 2007
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
ENGQUIST v. OREGON DEPARTMENT OF AGRICUL-
TURE ET AL.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
THE NINTH CIRCUIT
No. 07–474. Argued April 21, 2008—Decided June 9, 2008
Petitioner Engquist, an Oregon public employee, filed suit against re-
spondents—her agency, her supervisor, and a co-worker—asserting,
inter alia, claims under the Equal Protection Clause: She alleged she
had been discriminated against based on her race, sex, and national
origin, and she also brought a so-called “class-of-one” claim, alleging
that she was fired not because she was a member of an identified
class (unlike her race, sex, and national origin claims), but simply for
arbitrary, vindictive, and malicious reasons. The jury rejected the
class-membership equal protection claims, but found for Engquist on
her class-of-one claim. The Ninth Circuit reversed in relevant part.
Although recognizing that this Court had upheld a class-of-one equal
protection challenge to state legislative and regulatory action in Vil-
lage of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U. S. 562, the court below empha-
sized that this Court has routinely afforded government greater lee-
way when it acts as employer rather than regulator. The Court
concluded that extending the class-of-one theory to the public-
employment context would lead to undue judicial interference in
state employment practices and invalidate public at-will employ-
Held: The class-of-one theory of equal protection does not apply in the