Section 1983 of title 42, United States Code, provides a civil remedy in the federal courts for persons whose federal rights have been denied by anyone acting "under color of" state law. Typically, those who act "under color of" state law are state officials-ranging from governor to policeman. However, in many section 1983 suits, the purpose of the statute conflicts with the policy of protecting the working balance between the states and the federal government, or with the goal of ensuring impartiality of decision-making by state officials. The dilemma thus posed has been resolved by federal courts in various ways, depending on the type of state official or state function involved. This comment seeks to identify the solutions which the courts have adopted.
Federal Comity, Official Immunity, and the Dilemma of Section 1983,
1967 Duke Law Journal
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol16/iss4/3