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Bergman Memorial Lecture Featuring Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents: Judicial Engagement and Law Enforcement Accountability

Bergman Memorial Lecture Featuring Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents: Judicial Engagement and Law Enforcement Accountability

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Wednesday, March 3, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Location

Via Zoom

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110

Cost

Complimentary

Details

50th Anniversary of Bivens

USD School of Law is pleased to present a panel discussion featuring Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents. This event is open to the public, USD faculty/administrators, and all undergraduate, graduate, and law students.

Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents, recognizing an implied damages remedy for federal officials’ Constitutional violations, despite the absence of a federal statute authorizing such a remedy.  The Court observed that when a federal officer wields federal power, “there is no safety for the citizen, except in the protection of the judicial tribunals, for rights which have been invaded by the officers of the government, professing to act in its name.  There remains to him but the alternative of resistance, which may amount to crime.”

In the years following Bivens, federal courts recognized Bivens claims for violations of numerous Constitutional rights, and in multiple factual contexts, often describing Bivens as the federal counterpart to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 claims. 

Over the past decade, however, the Supreme Court has substantially limited Bivens’ reach, not only through the qualified immunity doctrine, but also through pleading standards and other jurisprudential concepts.  This narrowing of Bivens’ availability as a remedy for police misconduct has coincided with Americans’ sharpened focus on such misconduct, widespread protests against law enforcement abuses, and calls to reform policing in America. 

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