Bergman Memorial Lecture Featuring Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents

Date: March 3, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Cost: Complimentary

Registration: USD School of Law website



FBA San Diego is pleased to partner with USD School of Law for USD Law's presentation of a panel discussion featuring Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents.


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. 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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