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Saint Francis College v. Al-Khazraji

The Facts Of The Case, The Lower Courts Rule, The Supreme Court Affirms


Saint Francis College et al.


Majid Ghaidan Al-Khazraji, etc.

Petitioners' Claim

That a section of the U.S. Code barring racial discrimination did not apply to persons of Arab ancestry.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioners

Nick S. Fisfis

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Caroline Mitchell

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

18 May 1987


Affirmed the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals and granted the respondent the right to state his claim of racial discrimination against St. Francis College.


The Supreme Court's decision in Saint Francis College v. Al-Khazraji clarified the criteria for making a racial discrimination claim under section 1981 of the U.S. Code.


The decision issued by the Supreme Court in Saint Francis College v. Al-Khazraji established clear guidelines for future discrimination claims under Section 1981 of the U.S. Code. It reaffirmed the Court's long-standing opinion that, as Justice Brennan observed in his concurring opinion, "pernicious distinctions among individuals based solely on their ancestry are antithetical to the doctrine of equality upon which this nation is founded."

Related Cases

  • McNally v. United States, 483 U.S. 350 (1987).
  • Patterson v. McLean Credit Union, 485 U.S. 617 (1988).
  • Jett v. Dallas Independent School District, 491 U.S. 701 (1989).
  • Lampf v. Gilbertson, 501 U.S. 350 (1991).

Further Readings

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988