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Griffin v. Breckenridge
United States Supreme Court
403 U.S. 88 (1971)
R. G. Grady and Eugene Griffin (plaintiffs) were African Americans who drove through Mississippi to see friends. Lavon and James Breckenridge (defendants) stopped Grady’s car and beat Grady and Griffin with deadly weapons. The Breckenridges planned this attack because they mistakenly thought Grady was an African American civil rights worker and they wanted to prevent other African Americans from seeking equal protection under the laws. Griffin and Grady were severely injured and sued the Breckenridges under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) for conspiring on the highway to injure and deprive Griffin and Grady of their constitutional rights. The district court dismissed the complaint for failing to state a claim because the complaint did not allege that the Breckenridges acted under color of law. The court of appeals affirmed. Griffin and Grady appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)
Concurrence (Harlan, J.)
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