state_action - Constitutional Law II StateActionDoctrine...

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Constitutional Law II State Action Doctrine
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Fall 2005 Con Law II 2 Overview 14 th  Amendment applies only to states and  state actors (“ no state shall …. ”) What does it mean for the  state state  to act? As juridical entity – e.g., legislation Through individuals State officers  doing some act violating constitution 1. Must be responsible for constitutional injury Private parties  acting on behalf of state 1. Must be responsible for constitutional injury AND 2. Must be exercising some degree of state authority
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Fall 2005 Con Law II 3 Civil Rights Cases   (1883) Only state actions can violate the 14 th Congress cannot legislate (private) civil rights Only states can do so - federalism survives States can act to prohibit discrimination What if they don’t?  What if private discrim- ination is condoned by state  in action?
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Fall 2005 Con Law II 4 Civil Rights Cases   (1883) Consider this argument:   "The fourteenth amendment not only prohibits the  making or enforcing of laws which shall abridge  the privileges of the citizen; but prohibits the states  from denying to all persons within its jurisdiction  the equal protection of the laws.   Denying  includes inaction as well as action.  And  denying the equal protection of the laws  includes the omission to protect, as well as the  omission to pass laws for protection .“ Letter from Justice Bradley to Justice Wood  (1871) What happened to Justice Bradley?    See here
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Fall 2005 Con Law II 5 Exceptions to State Action Req. 13 th  Amendment Right to Travel Statutes reaching private conduct State laws Federal laws  Commerce Clause Section 5? Notice: such laws would create NEW RIGHTS
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Fall 2005 Con Law II 6 Private parties as state actors Public function strand ( sovereign function ) Endorsement/Delegation strand ( state  enforcement of private decisions ) Entanglement strand ( nexus )
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Fall 2005 Con Law II 7 Private parties as state actors Public function strand ( sovereign function ) Endorsement/Delegation strand ( state  enforcement of private decisions ) Entanglement strand ( nexus )
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Fall 2005 Con Law II 8 White Primary Cases Nixon v. Herndon  (1927) Texas statute excluding blacks from primary  elections invalidated - state action easily met Smith v. Allwright   (1944) Party exclusion of blacks, under state law dele- gating voting rules to parties Private political parties perform  “public function” in  relation to state-conducted election ballot Terry v. Adams    (1953) Pre-primary straw vote was “public function” Jaybird Party functions as party nominating com.
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state_action - Constitutional Law II StateActionDoctrine...

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