Access to Justice

RELEASE: In Egbert, Conservative Majority Commits Grave Error that Betrays Our Constitution

WASHINGTON, DCThis morning, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Egbert v. Boule, holding that a U.S. Border Patrol agent cannot be sued for damages for assaulting an individual on U.S. soil and retaliating against him, in violation of the First and Fourth Amendments. The Constitutional Accountability Center filed a brief in the case supporting the respondent Boule, and CAC Civil Rights Director David Gans had the following reaction:

The 6-3 conservative majority of the Roberts Court, once again, closes the courthouse door on individuals victimized by government abuse of power, this time holding  that federal border guards cannot be sued, even for flagrant constitutional violations. It is a grave error that betrays our Constitution.

The Constitution was written, drafted, and ratified against a legal backdrop that recognized that officers could be sued in a court of law for violating individual rights. If the Court had followed the Constitution’s text and history, it would have recognized that federal law enforcement officers, including border control guards, can be held accountable in court for violating constitutionally guaranteed rights. Instead, one of the world’s largest law enforcement forces will now be able to violate constitutionally guaranteed rights with impunity, striking a severe blow to constitutional accountability and the rule of law.

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Resources:

CAC case page in Egbert v. Boule: https://www.theusconstitution.org/litigation/egbert-v-boule/

CAC RELEASE: “Fourth Amendment Free Zone”? CAC Reacts to Oral Argument in Egbert v. Boule, March 2, 2022: https://www.theusconstitution.org/news/release-fourth-amendment-free-zone-cac-reacts-to-oral-argument-in-egbert-v-boule/

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Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at www.theusconstitution.org.

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