Opinion of the Court
able right"), with Alexander v. Sandoval, supra, at 289 (statute must evince "congressional intent to create new rights"); and California v. Sierra Club, supra, at 294 ("The question is not simply who would benefit from the Act, but whether Congress intended to confer federal rights upon those beneficiaries" (citing Cannon, supra, at 690-693, n. 13)). Accordingly, where the text and structure of a statute provide no indication that Congress intends to create new individual rights, there is no basis for a private suit, whether under § 1983 or under an implied right of action.
Justice Stevens disagrees with this conclusion principally because separation-of-powers concerns are, in his view, more pronounced in the implied right of action context as opposed to the § 1983 context. Post, at 300-301 (dissenting opinion) (citing Wilder, 496 U. S., at 509, n. 9). But we fail to see how relations between the branches are served by having courts apply a multifactor balancing test to pick and choose which federal requirements may be enforced by § 1983 and which may not. Nor are separation-of-powers concerns within the Federal Government the only guideposts in this sort of analysis. See Will v. Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U. S. 58, 65 (1989) ("[I]f Congress intends to alter the 'usual constitutional balance between the States and the Federal Government,' it must make its intention to do so 'unmistakably clear in the language of the statute' " (quoting Atascadero State Hospital v. Scanlon, 473 U. S. 234, 242 (1985); citing Pennhurst State School and Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U. S. 89, 99 (1984))).5
5 This case illustrates the point well. Justice Stevens would conclude that Congress intended FERPA's nondisclosure provisions to confer individual rights on millions of school students from kindergarten through graduate school without having ever said so explicitly. This conclusion entails a judicial assumption, with no basis in statutory text, that Congress intended to set itself resolutely against a tradition of deference to state and local school officials, e. g., Falvo, 534 U. S., at 435 (rejecting proposedPage: Index Previous 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Next
Last modified: October 4, 2007