Gonzaga Univ. v. Doe, 536 U.S. 273, 4 (2002)

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Opinion of the Court

Patricia A. Millett argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae urging reversal. With her on the brief were Solicitor General Olson, Assistant Attorney General McCallum, Deputy Solicitor General Kneedler, Mark B. Stern, Alisa B. Klein, and Anne Murphy.

Beth S. Brinkmann argued the cause for respondent. With her on the brief were Drew S. Days III and Lois K. Perrin.*

Chief Justice Rehnquist delivered the opinion of the Court.

The question presented is whether a student may sue a private university for damages under Rev. Stat. 1979, 42 U. S. C. 1983 (1994 ed., Supp. V), to enforce provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA or Act), 88 Stat. 571, 20 U. S. C. 1232g, which prohibit the federal funding of educational institutions that have a policy or practice of releasing education records to unauthorized persons. We hold such an action foreclosed because the relevant provisions of FERPA create no personal rights to enforce under 42 U. S. C. 1983 (1994 ed., Supp. V).

*Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed for the State of Illinois et al. by James E. Ryan, Attorney General of Illinois, Joel D. Bertocchi, Solicitor General, Michael P. Doyle, Assistant Attorney General, and Dan Schweitzer, and by the Attorneys General for their respective States as follows: Bill Pryor of Alabama, M. Jane Brady of Delaware, Robert A. Butterworth of Florida, Earl I. Anzai of Hawaii, J. Joseph Curran, Jr., of Maryland, Mike Moore of Mississippi, Don Stenberg of Nebraska, Frankie Sue Del Papa of Nevada, David Samson of New Jersey, Betty D. Montgomery of Ohio, Hardy Myers of Oregon, Mark L. Shurtleff of Utah, Christine O. Gregoire of Washington, and Hoke MacMillan of Wyoming; for the American Association of Community Colleges et al. by Philip Burling, John M. Stevens, and Sheldon E. Steinbach; and for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press et al. by Gregg P. Leslie, Lucy A. Dalglish, Bruce W. Sanford, and S. Mark Goodman.

Aaron H. Caplan, Jordan Gross, and Steven R. Shapiro filed a brief for the American Civil Liberties Union et al. as amici curiae urging affirmance.

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