Question about Alexander v. Sandoval
Arthur D. Wolf
awolf at LLAMA.CNET.WNEC.EDU
Thu Apr 26 19:50:49 PDT 2001
Let me add two additional points to Louise's response to Jim's inquiry.
First, Sea Clammers and other cases limited the use of Section 1983 for
federal statutory claims if the underlying legislative scheme contains a
comprehensive remedial framework that would be undermined or negated by the
use of Section 1983 to supply the claim for relief. Considering the
delegation of regulatory power to the agencies to enforce Title VI, the
courts could apply the Sea Clammers limitation to foreclose a private right
of action under Title VI through the use of Section 1983.
Second, the basis for the claim in Alexander is the regulations, not the
statute. Thus one wonders whether Thiboutot is available when the private
claim, asserted through Section 1983, rests on administrative rules, not
the statute itself.
Western New England College
At 09:19 PM 4/25/2001 -0500, lweinberg wrote:
> Jim Ryan, the below correspondent, asks whether sec. 1983 may supply
>Sandoval's missing cause of action, as Justice Stevens suggests. The
>underlying principle is that of Maine v Thiboutot. Under that case and its
>progeny, sec. 1983 creates a presumption that a state actor's violation of
>a federal statute is actionable. The presumption can be overcome,
>typidcally if the statutory standards are vague or merely precatory. I
>suspect that the presumption would be overcome on the facts of Sandoval
>because the Court would apply the same analysis, vis-a-vis intent and
>disparate impact, to defeat the sec. 1983 claim, that it applied in
>Sandoval to defeat the naked claim under the regs.
>lweinberg at mail.law.utexas.edu
>At 08:27 PM 4/25/01 , you wrote:
>>I should know the answer to this, but I don't: Is Justice Stevens correct
>>in suggesting that private litigants might be able to use section 1983 to
>>bring suit against state actors based on Title VI disparate impact
>>regulations? If that suggestion is correct, the effect of Sandoval may be
>>slight, insofar as a large perecentage (I think) of Title VI disparate
>>impact claims are brought against public officials, such as local government
>>officials in environmental justice suits, or public school officials in high
>>stakes testing or school finance suits.
>>At 12:53 PM 4/25/01 -0700, you wrote:
>>>Forgive what may be a pedestrian question, but is it correct that one of
>>the main practical consequences of Alexander v. Sandoval is that private
>>lawsuits challenging affirmative action are still permissible while the most
>>common lawsuits initiated by racial minorities are now impermissible?
>>>USC Political Science
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