narrower sense, dealing with the reorganization of State governments in the conquered territory, were enacted: the Act of March 2, 1867, "to provide for the more efficient Government of the Rebel States", 14 Stat. 428; a supplementary Act of March 23, 1867, 15 Stat. 2; and an amendatory Act of March 11, 1868, 15 Stat. 41. There may also have been other acts, not disclosed by a cursory search.
As Mr. Justice Frankfurter has observed, conditions during the Reconstruction Period were not conducive to the enactment of "carefully considered and coherent legislation". Strong feelings and hasty drafting led to "loose and careless phrasing". United States v. Williams, 341 U.S. 70, 74, 71 S. Ct. 581, 95 L. Ed. 758 (1951). The Ku Klux Act itself, the Supreme Court has noted, "was passed by a partisan vote in a highly inflamed atmosphere". Collins v. Hardyman, 341 U.S. 651, 657, 71 S. Ct. 937, 95 L. Ed. 1253 (1951).
It is regrettable that this whole mass of complex, confusing, historical vestiges of "unhappy, far-off things and battles long ago" has not been repealed and replaced by clearcut and effective legislation designed to meet the problems of today, as Professor Chafee has recommended. Measures improvised to deal with the sudden transition from slavery to citizenship are necessarily ill-suited to a "Great Society" based on an ecumenical equality before the law.
The defects of the existing situation are obvious. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 does not furnish an adequate remedy in meritorious cases. The right to bring a lawsuit against an impecunious policeman can scarcely be considered an effective and complete remedy. Well-designed means of protection, with precise and specific provisions, should be made available. Relief akin to that provided in another field of personal injuries by legislation such as the Federal Tort Claims Act of August 2, 1946, 60 Stat. 842, 28 U.S.C. § 1346, might be appropriate.
At the same time, because of its vagueness and the "ill-defined boundaries" of which Judge Biggs spoke, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lends itself readily to abuse by encouraging burdensome and vexatious litigation. Roberts v. Barbosa, 227 F. Supp. 20, 21, 23 (S.D.Calif.1964). It fosters weird cases such as Picking v. Pennsylvania Railroad Co., 151 F.2d 240 (C.C.A. 3, 1945), where a railroad was obliged to defend a charge of conspiracy to violate 42 U.S.C. § 1983 simply because as a common carrier it transported the complainants from Harrisburg to New York while they were in the custody of officers of the law for extradition. 151 F.2d at 245-246, 249, 253-254.
We are confronted in this area of the law with another corner of the "unweeded garden" described by Judge Friendly in "The Gap in Lawmaking - Judges Who Can't and Legislators Who Won't", 63 Col.L.R. (No. 5, May 1963), 787. Perhaps the current interest in civil rights, now shared by all three branches of the federal government, will lead to a carefully considered codification of the subject in the light of modern concepts and present-day conditions.
In view of our conclusions, it will not be necessary to pass on the issue of official privilege argued by defendants, or to determine whether what is said on that subject in the Picking case (pp. 250-252) has been superseded by later cases: Tenney v. Brandhove, 341 U.S. 367, 376, 71 S. Ct. 783, 95 L. Ed. 1019 (1951); Perkins v. Rich, 204 F. Supp. 98, 101 (D.Del.1962), aff'd 316 F.2d 236 (C.A.3, 1963); Ginsburg v. Stern, 19 F.R.D. 238; 148 F. Supp. 663 (W.D.Pa.1956); aff'd 242 F.2d 379 (C.A.3, 1957).
From the foregoing, it follows that defendants' motion to dismiss must be granted. This opinion shall be deemed to embody the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law with relation to said motion.