Egbert v. Boule

No. 21-147

United States Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) on Monday filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case of Egbert v. Boule. IWLC filed in support of Egbert’s petition for certiorari, arguing that the Ninth Circuit should not be allowed to invent new constitutional causes of action for money damages.  

Every day, thousands of brave men and women risk their lives to protect America’s borders. Facing threats from terrorists, gangs, and others trying to smuggle goods or people into the United States, Customs and Border Protection agents risk everything for their fellow Americans. CBP agents are bound by the U.S. Constitution and federal law. They do a remarkable job of fulfilling their duty under extreme conditions. But they are humans who, at times, make mistakes. They should not face the possibility of financial ruin for mistakes made in the line of duty where Congress has not expressly authorized lawsuits against them.

The Supreme Court has for decades recognized that it is for Congress—not the federal courts—to create causes of action, especially when security concerns are relevant. Yet, in this case, the Ninth Circuit flouted Supreme Court precedent by creating not one but two constitutional causes of action for money damages against agents charged with securing our borders.  

IWLC filed in support of Egbert’s argument that Congress has not authorized lawsuits seeking money from individual border patrol agents for alleged violations of federal law. 

Erin Hawley, senior legal fellow at Independent Women’s Law Center, said: “For decades, the Supreme Court has rightfully declined to create new causes of action out of thin air, as judge-made causes of action violate core separation-of-powers principles.” 

Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, added: “The Supreme Court should grant certiorari and make clear that the federal courts must stay in their interpretive lane.”

Read the brief HERE.


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