Not a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Ziglar v. Abbasi

Supreme Court of the United States

January 18, 2017, Argued; June 19, 2017, Decided

Nos. 15-1358, 15-1359, 15-1363.

Case Summary


HOLDINGS: [1]-The alien detainees' Fourth and Fifth Amendment claims challenging confinement conditions imposed after 9-11 could not proceed as a Bivens claim as they bore little resemblance to the three Bivens claims approved in the past, and the special factors implicated, including the formulation and implementation of general policy and national security, illustrated that whether to allow a damages action was a decision for Congress to make; [2]-The lower court should have conducted a special factors analysis before allowing claims that a federal warden violated the Fifth Amendment by allowing detainee abuse to proceed as a Bivens claim; [3]-The executive officials and wardens were entitled to qualified immunity to the civil conspiracy claims as reasonable officials could not have predicted that 42 U.S.C.S. § 1985(3) prohibited their joint consultation and resulting policies.


Judgment reversed, vacated, and remanded. 4-2 decision; 1 concurrence; 1 dissent.

LexisNexis® Headnotes



Civil Rights Law > Protection of Rights > Implied Causes of Action

Governments > Legislation > Statutory Remedies & Rights

HN1  Implied Causes of Action

When deciding whether to recognize an implied cause of action, the determinative question is one of statutory intent. If the statute itself does not display an intent to create a private remedy, then a cause of action does not exist and courts may not create one, no matter how desirable that might be as a policy matter, or how compatible with the statute. The judicial task is instead limited solely to determining whether Congress intended to create the private right of action asserted. If the statute does not itself so provide, a private cause of action will not be created through judicial mandate.


Civil Rights Law > Protection of Rights > Implied Causes of Action

Governments > Legislation > Statutory Remedies & Rights

HN2  Implied Causes of Action

The decision to recognize an implied cause of action under a statute involves somewhat different considerations than when the question is whether to recognize an implied cause of action to enforce a provision of the Constitution itself. When Congress enacts a statute, there are specific procedures and times for considering its terms and the proper means for its enforcement. It is logical, then, to assume that Congress will be explicit if it intends to create a private cause of action. With respect to the Constitution, however, there is no single, specific congressional action to consider and interpret.


Civil Rights Law > Protection of Rights > Implied Causes of Action

HN3  Implied Causes of Action

It is a significant step under separation-of-powers principles for a court to determine that it has the authority, under the judicial power, to create and enforce a cause of action for damages against federal officials in order to remedy a constitutional violation. When determining whether traditional equitable powers suffice to give necessary constitutional protection, or whether, in addition, a damages remedy is necessary, there are a number of economic and governmental concerns to consider. Claims against federal officials often create substantial costs, in the form of defense and indemnification. Congress, then, has a substantial responsibility to determine whether, and the extent to which, monetary and other liabilities should be imposed upon individual officers and employees of the federal government. In addition, the time and administrative costs attendant upon intrusions resulting from the discovery and trial process are significant factors to be considered. In an analogous context, Congress, it is fair to assume, weighed those concerns in deciding not to substitute the government as defendant in suits seeking damages for constitutional violations. 28 U.S.C.S. § 2679(b)(2)(A).

Access the full text caseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

137 S. Ct. 1843 ; 198 L. Ed. 2d 290 ; 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3874 ; 85 U.S.L.W. 4360; 26 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 655; 2017 WL 2621317

JAMES W. ZIGLAR, Petitioner (No. 15-1358) v. AHMER IQBAL ABBASI, et al.

Notice: The LEXIS pagination of this document is subject to change pending release of the final published version.

Subsequent History: Magistrate's recommendation at Turkmen v. Ashcroft, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137492 (E.D.N.Y., Aug. 13, 2018)


Turkmen v. Hasty, 789 F.3d 218, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10160 (2d Cir. N.Y., June 17, 2015)

Disposition: Reversed in part and vacated and remanded in part.