Gonzaga Univ. v. Doe, 536 U.S. 273, 12 (2002)

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284

GONZAGA UNIV. v. DOE

Opinion of the Court

swered in the negative" where a "statute by its terms grants no private rights to any identifiable class." Touche Ross & Co. v. Redington, 442 U. S. 560, 576 (1979). For a statute to create such private rights, its text must be "phrased in terms of the persons benefited." Cannon v. University of Chicago, 441 U. S. 677, 692, n. 13 (1979). We have recognized, for example, that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 create individual rights because those statutes are phrased "with an unmistakable focus on the benefited class." Id., at 691 (emphasis added).3 But even where a statute is phrased in such explicit rights-creating terms, a plaintiff suing under an implied right of action still must show that the statute manifests an intent "to create not just a private right but also a private remedy." Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U. S. 275, 286 (2001) (emphases added).

Plaintiffs suing under 1983 do not have the burden of showing an intent to create a private remedy because 1983 generally supplies a remedy for the vindication of rights secured by federal statutes. See supra, at 279-281. Once a plaintiff demonstrates that a statute confers an individual right, the right is presumptively enforceable by 1983.4 But

3 Title VI provides: "No person in the United States shall . . . be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance" on the basis of race, color, or national origin. 78 Stat. 252, 42 U. S. C. 2000d (1994 ed.) (emphasis added). Title IX provides: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, . . . be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." 86 Stat. 373, 20 U. S. C. 1681(a) (emphasis added). Where a statute does not include this sort of explicit "right- or duty-creating language," we rarely impute to Congress an intent to create a private right of action. See Cannon, 441 U. S., at 690, n. 13 (listing provisions); Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U. S. 275, 288 (2001) (existence or absence of rights-creating language is critical to the Court's inquiry).

4 The State may rebut this presumption by showing that Congress "specifically foreclosed a remedy under 1983." Smith v. Robinson, 468 U. S. 992, 1004-1005, n. 9 (1984). The State's burden is to demonstrate that Congress shut the door to private enforcement either expressly, through

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