The 2000-2001 Supreme Court Term: Section 1983 Cases
18 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2014
Date Written: 2001
Section 1983 is the federal statute that allows us to enforce our federal constitutional rights against state and local government. The significance of Section 1983 cannot be overstated. The United States Supreme Court well understands the importance of Section 1983. Over the last two decades of the twentieth century, the Supreme Court rendered an unusually large number of decisions fleshing out the meaning and intricacies of Section 1983. It seems however, that no matter how extensive the Supreme Court's involvement, there is always another Section 1983 issue.
The United States Supreme Court decided a broad range of questions dealing with Section 1983 in the 2000-2001 Term. This Article analyzes those issues that arose in such cases. First, the author discusses the threshold question of state action. Next, the author moves to the issue of due process requirements when disputes arise out of governmental contracts, then discusses the exhaustion of state remedies requirements in prisoner litigation, followed by a discussion of qualified immunity in excessive force cases. The final issue discussed is the right to recover statutory attorney's fees.
Keywords: U.S. Supreme Court, Section 1983, constitutional law, constitutional rights, state and local government, state action, due process, government contracts, state remedies exhaustion, qualified immunity, statutory attorney's fees
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