The Story of Bivens v. Six Unknown-Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics

FEDERAL COURTS' STORIES, Judith Resnik & Vicki C. Jackson, eds., 2009

Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 09-36

21 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2009 Last revised: 2 Feb 2010

Date Written: August 27, 2009

Abstract

In Bivens v. Six Unknown-Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the Supreme Court recognized the right of an individual to sue federal government officials for a violation of constitutional rights. Drawing on interviews with some of the participants, including Webster Bivens himself and one of the agents who conducted the search, this chapter in the forthcoming book Federal Courts' Stories describes the events that led to the litigation and the complex array of factors that informed the Court's approach to the case. After placing the Bivens decision in context, the chapter evaluates the competing narratives that have grown up around the famous decision.

Keywords: constitutional torts, Bivens, individual rights

JEL Classification: K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Pfander, James E., The Story of Bivens v. Six Unknown-Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (August 27, 2009). FEDERAL COURTS' STORIES, Judith Resnik & Vicki C. Jackson, eds., 2009; Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 09-36. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1462909

James E. Pfander (Contact Author)

Northwestern University School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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