Due Process

Ziglar v. Abbasi - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 2-10-17 featuring Jamil Jaffer
February 10, 2017

On January 18, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Ziglar v. Abbasi, which was consolidated with the cases Ashcroft v. Abbasi and Hasty v. Abbasi. Ziglar v. Abbasi was part of a series of lawsuits brought by Muslim, South Asian, and Arab non-citizens who were who were detained after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and treated as “of interest” in the ensuing government investigation. These plaintiffs contended, among other things, that the conditions of their confinement violated their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. The defendants included high-level officials in the Department of Justice (DOJ) such as Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI director Robert Mueller, and Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner James Ziglar, as well various detention officials. Some of the parties reached settlements, and the district court eventually dismissed some of the allegations against the DOJ officials for failure to state claim. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of plaintiffs’ Free Exercise claims, but otherwise reversed most of the district court’s judgment. Plaintiffs, the Second Circuit held, had adequately pleaded claims for violations of substantive due process, equal protection, the Fourth Amendment, and civil conspiracy, and Defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity. Defendants then sought, and the Supreme Court granted, a petition for writ of certiorari.

The questions now before the Supreme Court are threefold: (1) whether the Second Circuit, in finding that Plaintiffs’ due process claims did not arise in a “new context” for purposes of implying a remedy under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, erred by defining “context” at too high a level of generality; (2) whether the Second Circuit erred in denying qualified immunity to Defendant Ziglar; and (3) whether the Second Circuit erred in holding that Plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment Complaint met the pleading requirements identified by the Supreme Court in its 2009 decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal.

To discuss the case, we have Jamil N. Jaffer, who is Adjunct Professor of Law and Director of the Homeland and National Security Law Program at the Antonin Scalia Law School.

Officer Safety and Community Policing - Event Audio/Video

University of California - Berkeley Student Chapter
Kenton W. Rainey, Scott Erickson, Daryl Jackson, Harry S. Stern, Heather Mac Donald, Kevin Walker September 20, 2016

On September 12, 2016, the Federalist Society at Berkeley Law hosted Heather Mac Donald and a panel of law enforcement professionals for a discussion on officer safety and community policing. The panelists reflected on their personal experiences in law enforcement and weighed in on the current crisis in police-community relations. 


  • Kenton Rainey, Chief, BART Police Department
  • Scott Erickson, Founder, Americans in Support of Law Enforcement
  • Daryl Jackson, District Attorney Inspector
  • Harry Stern, Managing Principal, Rains Lucia Stern, PC
  • Heather Mac Donald, Author, "The War on Cops"
  • Moderator: Kevin Walker, Berkeley Law 

Boalt Hall, Berkeley Law 
Berkeley, CA

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Short video featuring Robin Fretwell Wilson and Teresa Stanton Collett
Robin Fretwell Wilson, Teresa Stanton Collett March 01, 2016

Teresa Collett, Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and Robin Wilson, Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, explain the upcoming Supreme Court case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

In 2013, Texas passed health and safety regulations designed to protect the health of abortion clinic patients. Whole Woman’s Health is an abortion provider challenging the law and claiming that these regulations are not only an undue burden on a woman’s liberty interest, but also that instead of protecting patient’s health, the restrictions are actually designed to legislate away abortion access.

Should the government be able to read your emails?

Short Video on Private Servers and the 4th Amendment in the Information Age featuring Amy Peikoff
Amy Peikoff February 10, 2016

Southwestern Law School’s Visiting Associate Professor Amy Peikoff explains the Third Party Doctrine of the Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment Doctrine. Under the Third Party Doctrine, the government does not need a warrant in order to obtain information entrusted to a third party, such as a bank, cell phone company, or email server. Thus, individuals who utilize their personal server for email may effectively keep their emails private while those using a commercial email server such as gmail do not have the same privacy.

Pros and Cons: Our Criminal Justice System at Work - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Alex Kozinski, William G. Otis December 08, 2015

Our panelists will discuss the criminal justice system generally, and the role of the prosecutor in particular.  Some argue that, with the weight of the state and its resources on one side, including a deep book of potential crimes, the deck is unfairly stacked against criminal defendants.  Others argue that police and prosecutors act in good faith, and credit them with incapacitating career criminals, trimming recidivism, and causing a plunge in national crime statistics.  Who has the better of the argument?


  • Hon. Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Prof. William G. Otis, Georgetown University Law Center