State-action doctrine | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Procedural Law

The State-action doctrine is a rule that Constitutional protections only apply to actions by the government, not private individuals or entities.

The state-action doctrine is a legal principle that holds that constitutional protections, such as those provided by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution, only apply to actions taken by the government or its agents and not to actions taken by private individuals or entities. In other words, only the government can violate an individual’s constitutional rights, not private actors. The state-action doctrine is an important aspect of constitutional law, as it helps to determine when and how the government can be held responsible for violations of individual rights and when private actors can be held responsible for their actions.

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Last Modified: 03/14/2023


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