Resource: United States v. Raines

By: Oyez

February 29, 1960


Under authority of R.S. § 2004, as amended by the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the Attorney General brought this civil action on behalf of the United States in a Federal District Court to enjoin certain public officials of the State of Georgia from discriminating against Negro citizens who desired to register to vote in elections in Georgia. The District Court dismissed the complaint on the ground that subsection (c), which authorizes the Attorney General to bring such an action, is unconstitutional. Although the complaint involved only official actions, the Court construed subsection (c) as authorizing suits to enjoin purely private actions, and held that this went beyond the permissible scope of the Fifteenth Amendment, and that the Act must be considered unconstitutional in all its applications. On direct appeal to this Court, held: the judgment is reversed. Pp. 362 U. S. 19-28.