• The Feminist Movement’s State Action Doctrine

    Author(s):
    Elizabeth Sepper
    Date:
    2021
    Group(s):
    Michigan State Law Review
    Subject(s):
    Law, Feminism
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/dyhx-hn78
    Abstract:
    There is a conventional story of the state action doctrine. It begins with the Supreme Court’s 1883 decision in the The Civil Rights Cases, holding that Congress did not have the power to forbid discrimination in hotels, trains, and other places open to the public. In reaching that conclusion, the Court sharply distinguished between “wrongful acts of individuals”—which could not deprive Black people of their rights—and state action “in the shape of laws, customs, or judicial or executive proceedings”—which was subject to the due process and equal protection guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment.1 Since that time, advocates struggled to show state involvement in discrimination in leisure, transport, and commerce. Through heroic efforts of the Black civil rights movement, the Court began to revise and soften the doctrine in the mid-twentieth century.2 For a brief period of time, Court watchers anticipated the twilight of state action; they saw emerging a more flexible and broader vision of equal protection duties.3 But that vision ended abruptly with the Burger Court. The Black civil rights movement of the 1960s had stretched state action to its limit.4 The 1970s and 1980s saw only retrenchment.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    Attribution

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