TURNER V. CITY OF MEMPHIS, 369 U. S. 350 (1962)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Turner v. City of Memphis, 369 U.S. 350 (1962)

Turner v. City of Memphis

No. 84

Argued February 27, 1962

Decided March 26, 1962

369 U.S. 350


Appellant, a Negro who had been refused nonsegregated service in a restaurant operated by a private corporation on premises leased from a city at its municipal airport, sued in a Federal District Court on behalf of himself and others similarly situated to enjoin such discrimination. He rested jurisdiction on 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3), based the cause of action on 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and alleged that appellees had acted under color of state law. A three-judge District Court convened to consider the case abstained from further proceedings pending interpretation by the state courts of certain state statutes relied upon by appellees as requiring racial segregation in the restaurant. Appellants appealed both to the Court of Appeals and directly to this Court.


1. Since the unconstitutionality of state statutes requiring racial segregation in publicly operated facilities is so well settled that it is foreclosed as a litigable issue (Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority, 365 U. S. 715), a three-judge court was not required to pass on this case under 28 U.S.C. § 2281 (Bailey v. Patterson, ante, p. 369 U. S. 31), and jurisdiction of this appeal is vested in the Court of Appeals. P. 369 U. S. 353.

2. There was no occasion for abstention from decision pending interpretation of the state statutes by the state courts; appellant's jurisdictional statement is treated as a petition for certiorari prior to the judgment of the Court of Appeals under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1254(1) and 2101(e); the petition is granted; the order of the District Court is vacated; and the case is remanded to that Court with directions to enter a decree granting appropriate injunctive relief against the discrimination complained of. Pp. 369 U. S. 353-354.

Judgment vacated and case remanded.

Page 369 U. S. 351

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