Ziglar v. Abbasi Decided - Are Government Officials Liable for Damages? International & National Security Law Teleforum Friday, June 30, 03:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call
Ziglar v. Abbasi is the result of over a decade of remands and appeals. The case was originally filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of incarcerated Muslim, South Asian, and Arab non-citizens who were targeted after 9/11 by law enforcement as “terrorism suspects.” The defendants in the case, high level officials in the Bush administration, such as Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI director Robert Mueller, and low level detention officials, filed a motion to dismiss, which was rejected by the in the District Court.
In 2009, the Supreme Court decided in Ashcroft v. Iqbal that government officials were not liable for discriminatory actions of their subordinates without evidence they directly ordered the actions. Meanwhile, five of the petitioners in Ziglar settled with the government, and the case was remanded to the District Court and amended. In 2010, the District Court granted a new motion of dismissal, but only for the high level officials. This dismissal was reversed by the Second Circuit.
The main question the Supreme Court answered was whether these high-level government officials could be sued for damages under the Bivens precedent. The precedent, created in a 1971 case involving the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, created an implied cause of action for any person whose Fourth Amendment rights are violated by federal officials. On Monday, June 19 the Supreme Court refused to extend the Bivens precedent to the petitioners, reversing the decision by the Second Circuit and remanding the case.
David Rivkin of Baker Hostelter will join us to discuss the opinion and its significance.
Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Podcast
- David B. Rivkin Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP
The Court has ruled today in two important cases, Matal v. Tam (aka "The Slants" copyright case) and Packingham v. North Carolina, which concerns a North Carolina law that restricts the access of convicted sex offenders to “commercial social networking” websites. Mr. Michael Huston and Mr. Ilya Shapiro joined us for this special Teleforum in which the holdings and reasoning of both cases were discussed.
Free Speech and Election Law Practice Group Podcast
- Mr. Michael R. Huston, Associate Attorney, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
- Mr. Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute
On May 22, the Supreme Court threw out two North Carolina congressional districts as discriminatory. State legislatures face confusion over how to redistrict without violating either the Voting Rights Act or the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. What does this case mean for the redistricting that will occur throughout the country after the 2010 Census? How can courts distinguish between legally acceptable partisan and unacceptable racial motives in redistricting when certain racial groups disproportionately support one particular political party? Hans von Spakovsky, a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission and former Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Justice Department, discussed these issues and the Cooper decision.
Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
- Hans A. von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
Under Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, the Department of Justice entered into a number of consent decrees with local police departments to change certain police practices. Given the ongoing review of these decrees, how will the federal government’s approach to police practices change during Jeff Sessions’ tenure as Attorney General? What alternative methods might the DOJ employ or encourage states and municipalities to employ to help remedy problematic police practices?
Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
- Chuck Canterbury, President, Fraternal Order of Police
- Vanita Gupta, President, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
- Moderator: Brian Fish, Special Assistant, United States Attorney, Baltimore, Maryland
On March 8, Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood of the District Court of Guam struck down a Guam law that permitted only those who meet the definition of “Native Inhabitants of Guam” to vote in a future status plebiscite. This decision has been met with opposition from elected officials, protests at the federal courthouse, public rallies, and now an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Supporters of the plebiscite are forcing a reexamination of the role of the United States on this strategically important island and opponents contend they are doing so without giving all citizens a voice in the process. What did the district court decide, and what does the reaction say about the rule of law and respect for the Constitution? Christian Adams joined us to discuss the latest in Davis v. Guam.