Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools, 503 U.S. 60, 11 (1992)

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70

FRANKLIN v. GWINNETT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Opinion of the Court

Contrary to arguments by respondents and the United States that Guardians Assn. v. Civil Service Comm'n of New York City, 463 U. S. 582 (1983), and Consolidated Rail Corporation v. Darrone, 465 U. S. 624 (1984), eroded this traditional presumption, those cases in fact support it. Though the multiple opinions in Guardians suggest the difficulty of inferring the common ground among the Justices in that case, a clear majority expressed the view that damages were available under Title VI in an action seeking remedies for an intentional violation, and no Justice challenged the traditional presumption in favor of a federal court's power to award appropriate relief in a cognizable cause of action. See Guardians, 463 U. S., at 595 (White, J., joined by Rehnquist, J.); id., at 607-611 (Powell, J., concurring in judgment, joined by Burger, C. J.); id., at 612, and n. 1 (O'Connor, J., concurring in judgment); id., at 624-628 (Marshall, J., dissenting); id., at 636 (Stevens, J., dissenting, joined by Brennan and Blackmun, JJ.). The correctness of this inference was made clear the following Term when the Court unanimously held that the 1978 amendment to 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973—which had expressly incorporated the "remedies, procedures, and rights set forth in title VI" (29 U. S. C. 794a(a)(2))—authorizes an award of back-pay. In Darrone, the Court observed that a majority in Guardians had "agreed that retroactive relief is available to private plaintiffs for all discrimination . . . that is actionable under Title VI." 465 U. S., at 630, n. 9. The general rule, therefore, is that absent clear direction to the contrary by

v. Thompson, 484 U. S. 174 (1988); Texas Industries, Inc. v. Radcliff Materials, Inc., 451 U. S. 630 (1981); California v. Sierra Club, 451 U. S. 287 (1981); Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. Transport Workers, 451 U. S. 77 (1981); Touche Ross & Co. v. Redington, 442 U. S. 560 (1979); Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Barbour, 421 U. S. 412 (1975); or because the Court rejected a claim for damages under a statute that expressly enumerated the remedies available to plaintiffs, Massachusetts Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Russell, 473 U. S. 134 (1985).

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