Griffin v. Maryland,  No. 6 Supreme Court of The United States 378 U.S. 130; 84 S. Ct. 1770; 1964 

June 22, 1964, Decided

CORE TERMS: park, sheriff, deputy, trespass, segregation, arrest, amusement, Fourteenth Amendment, arrested, privately, regular, purports, reargument, policeman, arresting, convicted, carousel, trespassing, color, tickets, dispatched, headquarters, ride, wore, protest, misdemeanor, station, possessed, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, badge

FACTS: An employee of a privately owned and operated amusement park, acting pursuant to his contractual obligations to the owner and under color of his authority as a deputy sheriff, ordered five Negroes picketing the park in protest of its policy of racial segregation to leave the park, arrested them, and instituted prosecutions against them. The Negroes were convicted in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Maryland. The Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions. (225 Md 422, 171 A2d 717.)

On certiorari, the United States Supreme Court reversed. In an opinion by Warren, Ch. J., expressing the views of six members of the Court, it was held that (1) the convictions were violative of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and (2) the action of the employee was state action for the purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Clark, J., concurring, joined the Court's opinion with the understanding that it merely holds, under the peculiar facts of the case, that the state must be recognized as a joint participant in the challenged activity.

Harlan, J., joined by Black and White, JJ., dissented on the ground that the involvement of the state was no different from what it would have been had the arrest been made by a regular policeman dispatched from police headquarters.

JUDGES: Warren, Black, Douglas, Clark, Harlan, Brennan, Stewart, White, Goldberg

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