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Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.
(R.S. § 1979; Pub. L. 96–170, § 1, Dec. 29, 1979, 93 Stat. 1284; Pub. L. 104–317, title III, § 309(c), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3853.)
"Thus, in the absence of some express indication of legislative intent to the contrary, there was ample justification for the holding in Hurd that § 1982 was intended to outlaw racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property in the District of Columbia as well as elsewhere in the United States. The situation is wholly different, however, with respect to § 1983. Unlike § 1982, which derives from the Civil Rights Act of 1866, § 1983 has its roots in § 1 of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, Act of Apr 20, 1871, § 1, 17 Stat. 13. This distinction has great significance, for, unlike the 1866 Act, which was passed as a means to enforce the Thirteenth Amendment, the primary purpose of the 1871 Act was "to enforce the Provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment."
- DC v Carter, 409 US 418 (1973)
"Although Price concerned a criminal prosecution involving 18 U.S.C. § 242, we have previously held that "under color of law" means the same thing for § 1983. Monroe v. Pape, supra, at 365 U. S. 185 (majority opinion), 365 U. S. 212 (opinion of Frankfurter, J.); United States v. Price, supra, at 383 U. S. 794 n. 7."
- Adickes v. SH Kress, 398 US 144 (1970)