McCormick v. Miami Univ., No. 11-3614 (6th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
McCormick was pursuing a graduate degree in psychology at Miami University in Ohio when she was diagnosed with several illnesses that slowed her progress in her graduate studies. After the faculty voted against promoting McCormick to doctoral status, she filed suit, alleging discrimination on the basis of race and disability in violation of state and federal laws. To circumvent the expired two-year statute of limitations for a 42 U.S.C. 1983 claim, which provides an express cause of action against state actors, McCormick asserted federal claims for racial discrimination and retaliation under 42 U.S.C. 1981. The district court dismissed, concluding that McCormick’s discrimination claim under section 1981 was barred because section 1983 provided the exclusive means to bring a damages suit against state actors in either their official or individual capacities for violations of section 1981. The court also dismissed Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities Act claims as time-barred. The Sixth Circuit affirmed.