No. 87-1207.

491 U.S. 58 (1989)

109 S.Ct. 2304

105 L.Ed.2d 45


Supreme Court of United States.

Decided June 15, 1989

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

William Burnham argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Clark Cunningham, Paul D. Reingold, John A. Powell, Helen Hershkoff, and Steven R. Shapiro.

George H. Weller, Assistant Attorney General of Michigan, argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief were Frank J. Kelley, Attorney General, Louis J. Caruso, Solicitor General, and Thomas L. Casey, Assistant Solicitor General.*

Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the State of Tennessee et al. by W. J. Michael Cody, Attorney General of Tennessee, and Michael W. Catalano, Deputy Attorney General, and by the Attorneys General for their respective jurisdictions as follows: Don Siegelman of Alabama, Robert K. Corbin of Arizona, John Steven Clark of Arkansas, John Van de Kamp of California, Duane Woodard of Colorado, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Charles M. Oberly of Delaware, Robert Butterworth of Florida, Warren Pries III of Hawaii, Neil F. Hartigan of Illinois, Linley E. Pearson of Indiana, Thomas J. Miller of Iowa, Robert T. Stephan of Kansas, Frederic J. Cowan of Kentucky, William J. Guste, Jr., of Louisiana, J. Joseph Curran, Jr., of Maryland, Hubert H. Humphrey III of Minnesota, Michael C. Moore of Mississippi, William L. Webster of Missouri, Mike Greely of Montana, Robert M. Spire of Nebraska, Stephen E. Merrill of New Hampshire, Hal Stratton of New Mexico, Lacy H. Thornburg of North Carolina, Nicholas Spaeth of North Dakota, Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr., of Ohio, Robert Henry of Oklahoma, LeRoy S. Zimmerman of Pennsylvania, Hector Rivera-Cruz of Puerto Rico, Travis Medlock of South Carolina, Roger A. Tellinghuisen of South Dakota, David L. Wilkinson of Utah, Jeffrey Amestoy of Vermont, Mary Sue Terry of Virginia, Kenneth O. Eikenberry of Washington, Charlie Brown of West Virginia, Don J. Hanaway of Wisconsin, and Joseph B. Meyer of Wyoming; and for the National Governors' Association et al. by Benna Ruth Solomon, Kenneth S. Geller, and Andrew J. Pincus.

JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case presents the question whether a State, or an official of the State while acting in his or her official capacity, is a "person" within the meaning of Rev. Stat. § 1979, 42 U. S. C. § 1983.

Petitioner Ray Will filed suit in Michigan Circuit Court alleging various violations of the United States and Michigan Constitutions as grounds for a claim under...

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