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in a unanimous ruling, the justices held that direct evidence of discrimination is not required for a plaintiff to prove discrimination was a motivating factor in a mixed-motive case, in which an employer had both legitimate and illegitimate reasons for making a decision. Desert Palace Inc. v. Costa, No. 02-679. According to the justices, a plaintiff need only demonstrate that an employer used a forbidden consideration with respect to any employment practice. On its face, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not mention that a plaintiff must make a heightened showing through direct evidence. In fact, Congress had explicitly defined “demonstrates” as to “mee[t] the burdens of production and persuasion.” Thomas delivered the opinion of the court.

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