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Rizzo v. Goode 423 U.S. 362 (1978)

RIZZO v. GOODE 423 U.S. 362 (1978)

Rizzo exemplifies the burger court's inhospitability to institutional litigation aimed at broad structural reform. Philadelphia citizens sued the mayor and other officials in federal court, alleging condonation of a pattern of police mistreatment of minority residents and others. The district court held long hearings, validated the plaintiffs' charges, and ordered the defendants to submit a comprehensive plan to improve complaint procedures and police discipline.

The Supreme Court, 5–3, held this order improper. The Court implied that the controversy lacked ripeness, and suggested that younger v. harris (1971) might protect the action of state executives as well as state courts. The decision, however, rested on the ground that police supervisors had been insufficiently involved in the proved misconduct to justify the court's systemwide order.

Kenneth L. Kasrt

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