However, in Polk County v. Dodson, 454 U.S.312 (1981), the court had held that a public defender is not a state actor in the context of a lawsuit for inadequate legal representation. McCollum argued that Polk County was the controlling precedent, so public defenders are not state actors during jury selection. Writing for the court, Justice Harry Blackmun disagreed. Blackmun found that whether a public defender is a state actor "depends on the nature and context of the function he is performing." Just as he is a state actor in the context of personnel decisions like hiring and firing attorneys in his office, a public defender is a state actor in the context of peremptory challenges. Like in Edmonson, Blackmun found that race-based peremptory challenges by the defendant violate the Equal Protection Clause and are therefore unconstitutional.