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Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman

Significance, The Developmentally Disabled Assistance And Bill Of Rights Act, Further Readings


Pennhurst State School & Hospital


Terri Lee Halderman

Petitioner's Claim

That the federal court cannot award injunctive relief against state officials where the relief is justified through state law.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

H. Bartow Farr III

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Thomas K. Gilhool

Justices for the Court

Warren E. Burger, Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (writing for the Court), William H. Rehnquist, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

23 January 1984


The Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution bars federal courts from granting an injunction ordering state officials to conform their conduct to state law.

Related Cases

  • Ex Parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908).
  • Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority, 297 U.S. 288 (1936).
  • Hutto v. Finney, 437 U.S. 678 (1978).


Bradley, David, and Shelley Fisher Fishkin, eds. The Encyclopedia of Civil Rights in America. Armonk, NY: Sharpe, 1998.

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