Egbert v. Boule

No. 21-147

United States Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse in Egbert v. Boule. IWLC filed in support of Egbert arguing that the Ninth Circuit should not be allowed to invent new constitutional causes of action for money damages, especially against customs and border protection agents.

Every day, thousands of brave men and women risk their lives protecting America’s borders. Facing threats from terrorists, gangs, and others trying to smuggle goods or traffic people into the United States, our Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents risk everything for our safety. CBP agents must of course comply with every federal law and do so while fulfilling their duty under extreme conditions. In the decision below, the Ninth Circuit made up two new constitutional causes of action under which people attempting to illegally cross the border can sue individual agents for money damages–all without congressional authorization. The Supreme Court, however, has for decades recognized that it is for Congress — not the federal courts — to create causes of action, especially when pressing security concerns, like the safety of our border, are at issue. 

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 make clear that the federal courts must stay in their interpretive lane.”

Read the brief HERE.


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