ALABAMA STATE CONFERENCE OF THE NATIONAL ASS’N OF FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE V. STATE OF ALABAMA

Lauren Brasher*

In Alabama State Conference of the NAACP v. State of Alabama, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed a private citizen’s ability to sue a state in federal court. Generally, suits against a state by its own citizens are prohibited under the Eleventh Amendment, but there are exceptions to this general rule. In this case, the appeals court found that the Voting Rights Act gives private citizens a right of action against states. The court agreed with its sister circuits which had already ruled on this issue, concluding it is “difficult to conceive of any reasonable interpretation . . . that does not involve abrogation of the state’s immunity.”

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