BAILEY V. PATTERSON, 369 U. S. 31 (1962)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bailey v. Patterson, 369 U.S. 31 (1962)

Bailey v. Patterson

No. 643

Decided February 26, 1962

369 U.S. 31


Appellants, Negroes living in Jackson, Mississippi, brought this civil rights action in a Federal District Court on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, seeking injunctions to enforce their constitutional rights to nonsegregated service in interstate and intrastate transportation. They alleged that such rights had been denied them under color of state statutes, municipal ordinances, and state custom and usage. A three-judge District Court convened to consider the case abstained from further proceedings, pending construction of the challenged laws by the state courts, and appellants appealed directly to this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1253.


1. Appellants lack standing to enjoin criminal prosecutions under Mississippi's breach of peace statutes, since they do not allege that they have been prosecuted or threatened with prosecution thereunder; but, as passengers using the segregated transportation facilities, they have standing to enforce their rights to nonsegregated treatment. Pp. 369 U. S. 32-33.

2. That no State may require racial segregation of interstate or intrastate transportation facilities has been so well settled that it is foreclosed as a litigable issue, and a three-judge court was not required to pass on this case under 28 U.S.C. § 2281. P. 369 U. S. 33.

3. Since this case is not one required to be heard and determined by a district court of three judges under 28 U.S.C. § 2281, it cannot be brought to this Court on direct appeal under §1253; but this Court has jurisdiction to determine the authority of the Court below and to make such corrective order as may be appropriate to the enforcement of the limitation which that section imposes. P. 369 U. S. 34.

4. The judgment is vacated and the case is remanded to the District Court for expeditious disposition, in the light of this opinion, of appellants' claims of right to nonsegregated transportation service. P. 369 U. S. 34.

199 F.Supp. 595, judgment vacated and case remanded.

Page 369 U. S. 32

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