December 11 2004, 7:05 AM
Anyone remember Rita Bastien? She was an aide to Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell who sued him for age discrimination. A federal court ruled in 2002 that Campbell's status as a legislator rendered him immune from such lawsuits and dismissed the case. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has now reversed that decision and ruled that Bastien can proceed with her lawsuit:
Bastien, who was 62 when she was fired in 2001, claims she was treated differently from the younger staffers and transferred from Campbell's office in Englewood to Colorado Springs to try to get her to quit. Campbell's attorneys say she was fired because of her job performance. They had also argued the Constitution bars the courts from intervening because Bastien was carrying out the senator's legislative duties.