Mitchum v. Foster
407 U.S. 225 (1972)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Mitchum v. Foster, 407 U.S. 225 (1972)

Mitchum v. Foster

No. 70-27

Argued December 13, 1971

Decided June 19, 1972

407 U.S. 225


Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which authorizes a suit in equity to redress the deprivation under color of state law "of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution . . . ," is within that exception of the federal anti-injunction statute, 28 U.S.C. § 2283, that provides that a federal court may not enjoin state court proceedings "except as expressly authorized by Act of Congress." And in this § 1983 action, though the principles of equity, comity, and federalism that must restrain a federal court when asked to enjoin a state court proceeding (cf. Younger v. Harris,401 U. S. 37, and companion cases) are not questioned, the District Court is held to have erred in holding that the anti-injunction statute absolutely barred its enjoining a pending state court proceeding under any circumstances whatsoever. Pp. 407 U. S. 228-243.

315 F.Supp. 1387, reversed and remanded.

STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which all members joined except POWELLL and REHNQUIST, JJ., who took no part in the consideration or decision of the case. BURGER, C.J., filed a concurring opinion, in which WHITE and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined, post, p. 407 U. S. 243.

Page 407 U. S. 226

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