Alleging a course of racially discriminatory practices calculated to deprive Negro citizens of their voting rights in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and Part IV of the Civil
The District Court dismissed the complaint as to all defendants. It held (1) that the individual respondents had been sued only as Registrars, and that having under Alabama law effectively resigned their offices they were not suable in their official capacities; (2) that the Board of Registrars was not a suable legal entity; and (3) that the Civil Rights Act of 1957 did not authorize this action against the State. 171 F.Supp. 720. The Court of Appeals, sustaining each of these holdings, affirmed. 267 F.2d 808.
Shortly before the case was heard in this Court on May 2, 1960, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1960. The bill was signed by the President on May 6, 1960, and has now become law. Act of May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 86. Among other things § 601 (b) of that Act amends 42 U. S. C. § 1971 (c) by expressly authorizing actions such as this to be brought against a State.
We hold that by virtue of the provisions of that section the District Court has jurisdiction to entertain this action against the State. In so holding we do not reach, or intimate any view upon, any of the issues decided below, the merits of the controversy, or any defenses, constitutional or otherwise, that may be asserted by the State.
Accordingly, the judgments of the Court of Appeals and the District Court will be vacated, and the case remanded to the District Court for the Middle District of Alabama with instructions to reinstate the action as to the State of Alabama, and for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
42 U. S. C. § 1971 (a) provides: "All citizens of the United States who are otherwise qualified by law to vote at any election by the people in any State, Territory, district, county, city, parish, township, school district, municipality, or other territorial subdivision, shall be entitled and allowed to vote at all such elections, without distinction of race, color, or previous condition of servitude; any constitution, law, custom, usage, or regulation of any State or Territory, or by or under its authority, to the contrary notwithstanding."