Nahmod Law

My New Article: The Birth of Section 1983 in the Supreme Court

My new article, entitled Section 1983 Is Born: The Interlocking Supreme Court Stories of Tenney and Monroe, has just been published in 17 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 1019 (2013).

Here is the link to the complete article.

This is the abstract:

“In 1951 the Supreme Court interpreted Section 1983’s language for the first time in Tenney v. Brandhove. This case, which arose against the background of the Cold War, involved the First Amendment and legislative immunity. The majority opinion, authored by Felix Frankfurter, took a strong federalism stance, while Justice William Douglas wrote the sole dissent in favor of civil rights. Ten years later, in Monroe v. Pape, the Court handed down a second important Section 1983 decision. This time, seven years after Brown v. Board of Education, the Court stood strong for civil rights in a police brutality case. Justices Douglas and Frankfurter were pitted against each other once again, but this time Douglas authored the majority opinion and Frankfurter wrote a strong partial dissent on federalism grounds.

This Article, the first of its kind, discusses both cases in depth to provide a fuller understanding of early Section 1983 jurisprudence. Each case was a product of the political context of its time, the Cold War and the
Civil Rights Movement. Each decision was also influenced by the briefings and oral argument presented to the Court. Finally, the two cases show the tension between federalism and civil rights protections through their respective majority and dissenting opinions written by two important Supreme Court justices. The interlocking opinions of Tenney and Monroe are therefore of interest to all scholars of civil rights, Section 1983, and the Supreme Court.”
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Written by snahmod

February 24, 2014 at 10:44 am

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