Breaking News

New Filing in Wilkie v. Robbins

Today we filed this Brief for the Respondent in Wilkie v. Robbins, No. 02-219. The case raises three questions concerning: (1) the applicability of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to federal employees sued under the Act’s civil provisions for engaging in extortion with the intent to obtain private property on behalf of the Government; (2) whether individuals may bring Bivens actions against federal officials to remedy violations of the Takings Clause in cases where the official is charged with attempting to coerce a private landowner into giving the Government an easement across his land without paying just compensation; and (3) whether the Fifth Amendment is violated by such an effort.

If that were not enough, our brief raises additional questions regarding whether the availability of a Bivens remedy can be decided in an interlocutory qualified immunity appeal, whether a defendant may take an interlocutory appeal to re-urge a legal argument rejected in a prior appeal, and whether qualified immunity applies to claims under a federal statute like RICO, which provides a civil remedy for criminal misconduct.

We put together the brief with the substantial assistance of both our Stanford and Harvard Supreme Court Litigation Clinics, with Prof. Laurence Tribe leading the team at Harvard and slated to argue the case for respondent on March 19.

Because work on the case spanned semesters, we had a number of students involved:

Harvard: Lauren Popper Ellis, Dan Gonen, Chris Fonzone, Zina Gelman, Brooke Hopkins, and Anna Holloway.

Stanford: Jennifer Liu, Fred Thompson, Brian Love, Jameson Jones, Andrew Dawson, Erika Myers, Eric Zimmerman, Mariko Hirose, and Molly Cutler.