Courthouse Steps Decision Teleforum: Brownback v. King

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In Brownback v. King, the Court addressed the Federal Tort Claims Act, (FTCA) which waives Federal sovereign immunity to allow plaintiffs to sue the United States for certain torts committed by Federal employees.  The FTCA includes a judgment bar which precludes a plaintiff from suing a federal employee on a cause of action arising from the same subject matter as his FTCA claim. 

Following a violent encounter with two undercover FBI agents, King sued alleging an FTCA cause of action and an implied Bivens claim.  The District Court dismissed both claims.  Then the Sixth Circuit reversed, finding the District Court’s dismissal of King’s FTCA claims did not invoke the FTCA judgment bar because it had not reached the merits so King’s Bivens claim should be able to go forward.  

In a 9-0 opinion written by Justice Thomas, the Court reversed the Sixth Circuit holding the District Court’s decision reached the merits and implicated the FTCA judgment bar.   

Featuring: 

Roman Martinez, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP

Patrick Jaicomo, Attorney, Institute for Justice

 

Dial 888-752-3232 to access the call.

Event Transcript

[Music]

 

Dean Reuter:  Welcome to Teleforum, a podcast of The Federalist Society's practice groups. I’m Dean Reuter, Vice President, General Counsel, and Director of Practice Groups at The Federalist Society. For exclusive access to live recordings of practice group Teleforum calls, become a Federalist Society member today at fedsoc.org.

 

 

Evelyn Hildebrand:   Welcome to The Federalist Society's Teleforum conference call. This afternoon, March 1st, we discuss the  Supreme Court's decision in Brownback v. King. My name is Evelyn Hildebrand, and I am Associate Director of Practice Groups at The Federalist Society.

 

      As always, please note that all expressions of opinion are those of the experts on today's call.

 

      Today we are fortunate to have with us Mr. Patrick Jaicomo, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, and Mr. Roman Martinez, a partner is the Washington DC office of Latham & Watkins. After our speakers give their opening remarks, we will turn to you, the audience for questions. So be thinking of those as we go along and have them in mind for when we get to that portion of the call. With that, thank you for being with us today. Patrick, the floor is yours.

 

Patrick Jaicomo:  Thanks, Evelyn. My name is Patrick Jaicomo. I am an attorney at the Institute for Justice and I represented James King, the respondent in this case which we argued over the phone back in November to the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

      So from the very top line, this case essentially hands the government jurisdictional victory but a substantive defeat which I'm going to explain here. Because the goal in this case for the government was to end James King's attempt at continuing to pursue constitutional claims against two government workers who violated his rights.

 

      So as a bit of background, this case arose out of the 2014 choking and beating of James King who was 21 years old and an innocent college student who was misidentified by members of a federal task force who were actually looking for someone wanted for having stolen empty pop cans and liquor from his boss' apartment. And instead, they found James. A tussle ensued when James believed that these plainclothes officers were mugging him. James was pretty seriously beaten and then after that beating, the officers pursued several felony charges against James which went to a jury criminal trial and James was exonerated of all those charges.

 

In 2016 James filed a lawsuit against the officers. And since then there has been essentially a legal odyssey going through every possible special protection that exists in the law to shield government workers from accountability when they violate the Constitution. And so in James' case in particular we sued the United States as the employer of these task force members, and then we also sued the individual officers as you do under the Federal Civil Rights statute or Bivens. And in this case because they were federal task force members, the courts treated the case as a Bivens case.

 

      Instead of answering our complaint, the government moved to dismiss the whole thing arguing that James couldn't sue the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act because essentially Michigan law qualified immunity applied to the United States and that we couldn't sue the individual officers because federal law qualified immunity applied to them. The district court threw the whole case out and we appealed to the Sixth Circuit. And that's when this judgment bar issue came into play.

 

So for those of you who don't know, the Federal Tort Claims Act is essentially the largest and most sweeping waiver of sovereign immunity that the United States has. It was passed in 1946 and essentially allows individuals to sue the United States for torts committed by employees of the United States. Now the act has evolved quite a bit since 1946, but one of the things that's been in existence since then is something called the judgment bar and it says: "If you sue the United States and a judgment is entered, that judgment bars any other action, any other lawsuit, against the individual officers."

 

And so the issue that arose in this case was whether the dismissal of the FTCA claims against the United States triggered the judgment bar and, thereby, also precluded the constitutional claims against the individual officers in the same lawsuit. The Sixth Circuit said: "No, that's not how it works. And, by the way, the officers aren't entitled to qualified immunity for the claims against them." And so it reversed the district court and remanded the case to proceed to discovery. But before discovery took place, the Solicitor General petitioned the Supreme Court for cert and basically said: "The judgment bar does apply here. You should throw the case out." And so that was the issue that the Supreme Court took up was whether the judgment bar applies here and, if so, whether the case should be thrown out.

 

Essentially, once oral argument took place, there were two different arguments. One was, thanks to this weird language in the Federal Tort Claims Act that makes the substantive elements of the claim the same as the jurisdictional elements of the claim, which is pretty unique in statutory law, whether a court that lacked jurisdiction because one of those elements wasn't met could still enter a judgment in the case that would be preclusive under the judgment bar. And second, whether claims in the same lawsuit could be precluded by the judgment bar.

 

And so the decision that the Court entered last Thursday essentially only addresses the jurisdictional issue. And it's very interesting in, like I said the FTCA's language is unique, but in this case you have the Supreme Court repeatedly saying: "The District Court here lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Nevertheless, it could enter a judgment in this case and that judgment would be preclusive."

 

This is somewhat unique in general but certainly in the context of sovereign immunity because the Court had earlier a few years ago decided a case involving foreign sovereign immunity that was similar in that jurisdiction elements overlapped, although not completely as they do here. And in that case, the Court basically said when jurisdiction merits overlap, jurisdiction trumps because our concern is that if you can reach the merits at the same time as you're deciding whether you have jurisdiction, that the concept of jurisdiction becomes somewhat illusory. And now with this case, Brownback v. King, the Court has embraced that concept completely in the FTCA.

 

So under the FTCA, this concept of jurisdiction is always going to be entwined with the merits. And now, because of this decision, any merits decision will be jurisdictional and any jurisdictional decision will be a merits determination for purposes of the judgment bar.

 

Now, the thing that's been missed in much of the media coverage in this case is that everyone took this as a 9-0 victory for the government. The case is over. I've seen all sorts of headlines about the plug being pulled on college student's claims against officers who violated his constitutional rights. But that's not what happened. And so in a strange way there is still a substantive victory for James King because this whole lawsuit has been a battle for James to get in front of a jury. And so every step towards that has been a positive step.

 

And here, through footnote 4 of the opinion, the Court said: "We're not going to decide this issue of whether the judgment bar applies to claims that are brought in a single lawsuit. Instead the Sixth Circuit has to decide that in the first instance because that's not the basis for its decision below." And so that issue will now be decided on remand. And that issue is also the heart of what Justice Sotomayor's concurrence is about here, and so she essentially just underscores the necessity of this thorny issue being ironed out in the lower courts and sort of runs through the different arguments that James made and that the government made in response for why, as a matter of common law concepts and as a matter of statutory interpretation, the judgment bar should or should not apply to claims that are brought together in a single lawsuit.

 

And just to give a big picture commentary on that, under traditional common law concepts, this idea of res judicata or claim preclusion was never used to apply to separate claims in a single lawsuit. That's because you could, for many reasons, lose one claim or dismiss one claim or decide to not pursue it further but still pursue the other one without it canceling out the first claim. And so the argument will be in the Sixth Circuit whether that applies. But the big picture here is that the government did win on this jurisdictional issue which is extremely esoteric and difficult to explain, but the case will proceed. The Court did not let the case die or certainly did not direct that the case was over and, instead, we will proceed into the Sixth Circuit on this issue of whether the judgment bar applies to two different claims brought in a single lawsuit, which is the much more sweeping issue as far as government accountability goes. That will be an issue that comes up in a lot more cases than this kind of viscentene jurisdictional issue that the Court actually decided in today's case.

 

And so that's my overview for this case and, at this point, I'll turn it over to my friend, Roman, who can add a little bit of color. Roman has worked on some of these cases in the past on behalf of the government.

 

Roman Martinez:  Thanks, Patrick. And thank you to The Federalist Society and those of you

listening for having me, and for Patrick for his tremendous advocacy of this case. I listened to the oral argument and I thought you did a great job. And whether you characterize it as a victory or defeat, I think Patrick should be proud of his work and of his client in this case, and I'm glad he's going to keep the fight going below.

 

I do have a little bit of a different spin on the case, but maybe I'll start with where I agree with Patrick and then sort of find some areas of disagreement and I'm sure Patrick can then push back. I definitely agree with Patrick that the decision is interesting because, although it is unanimous for the government on the issue on which the government sought cert, the Court does expressly decide not to decide the question. The legal argument, I think, that Patrick probably put in his brief and sort of portrayed as maybe being a stronger argument and that I think would be the stronger argument which is that the judgment bar doesn't apply to bar claims that are brought in the same case.

 

So I think it is helpful, footnote 4 is very helpful and allows Patrick and his client to fight another day below. I think one thing that's interesting about the Court's decision not to decide that, and this is where the one, Patrick, where it hits home to me is that in the case, the most recent case before this one addressing the judgment bar was a case that I handled when I was in the Solicitor General's office, and we lost on behalf of the government, 9-0, in that case. But we lost on an argument that the plaintiff in the case had not really argued below and on an argument that he argued for the first time in the Supreme Court.

 

And so here in your case the Court is saying, "It would be crazy for us to address this argument for the first time that really hadn't been pledged out below, and so we should send it back." Whereas in my case, the Court reached out and addressed the very issue that hadn't been argued below because it wanted to rule against me. So, well done. Well, kudos to you for getting them to kind of take a different approach.

 

I also think that Patrick is right on the merits of in terms of having some things going for you on remand. One thing that was interesting from the oral argument in the case and from Justice  Sotomayor had a very helpful concurrence essentially adopting Patrick's view that the judgment bar should not apply when the FTCA claim and the other claim, the Bivens claim in this case are brought in the same case. So I think you have a lot of momentum going in your favor based on Justice Sotomayor.

 

And then also, I think there was some very helpful questioning from the Chief Justice and from Justices Kagan and Kavanaugh. And so I think those are all very helpful. And I generally agree with Patrick on all of the points that he has made that on the merits of this issue there are some good signs and there are some good things to take away from the Court's opinion.

 

That said, I do disagree with characterizing this as a substantive victory for King or a substantive defeat for the government. The reality in this case is that King, represented by Patrick, and the court, they were affirmatively asking the Court to affirm on this additional ground or alternative ground, and the Court expressly said it wasn't going to do that. The government's position in the Supreme Court was that the Supreme Court should resolve only the question presented which is the question that they brought and it's the question that they won 9-0 on.

 

And when Justice Kavanaugh, at the oral argument, asked the government, "Well, should we reach this separate question that Mr. King has raised", the government's position was, "No. They'll reach that question." And so if you look at what the government was asking for in the Supreme Court, the Court gave the government exactly what it was asking for in the sense of a 9-0 victory on the issue that it had raised, and then a "no decision" on the alternative argument. So it doesn't seem to me to be a fair characterization to say that the government suffered a defeat in this case when the Court did what it wanted it to do -- did what the government asked it to do. Of course, I am sure that the government was not looking for a concurrence from Justice Sotomayor directly attacking its theory. But as they said, that's something that can be sorted out below.

 

I think the other problem -- and here I would be very interested in what Patrick can tell us about how this is going to play out in the Sixth Circuit -- I think the other problem that Mr. King has is that there is a circuit split on the issue that the Court did not resolve. And the circuit split is pretty lopsided -- I think it's 5-1 or 6-1 or something like that. But the especially huge problem is that the Sixth Circuit, which is where this case is being remanded, as I understand it, has precedent that forecloses the argument that Mr. King wants to make on remand. And I think -- maybe Patrick can correct me on this -- but I think this was conceded at oral argument that the Sixth Circuit has adverse precedent on this. And so maybe there's something that I've missed, but as I understand it given that Sixth Circuit precedent, the most recent case authored by Judge Sutton, it seems like Mr. King is going to probably have to seek rehearing en banc, or maybe file another cert petition in order to get this other issue up in front of the Court.

 

Now as I said I think he's got a lot of momentum on his side because of the fact that you have the Sotomayor concurrence, you've got these helpful comments at oral argument, and I think there's a good basis to ask the Sixth Circuit to take a close look at its precedent. But as I understand it the case is going to go back before a court that has binding precedent that is against Mr. King on this point.

 

And so I'd be curious -- one thing that I'd welcome Patrick's thoughts on is on whether he can share what the plan is at the Sixth Circuit because I think it would be very interesting if the next step is a rehearing petition and then maybe a cert petition. The Court doesn't grant cert very often, as we all know, but it does like to grant cert sometimes in cases that have been there before and I think this case would have a very good -- would get a lot of attention because it would be cert on the issue on which the Court potentially asked for more briefing and more consideration below.

 

I think the final comment I'll make, just very quickly, initially has nothing not do with the substance. But I think for those of you who are  Supreme Court watchers and  Supreme Court nerds, like I am—and if you're on this call, you might be in that group with me—I think one thing that is interesting that I noticed in the decision was the use of the parenthetical "cleaned up." I don't know if you all are familiar with that, but it's basically instead of -- it's a substitute for saying things like "citation omitted," or "emphasis added," or that kind of thing. It is basically a way of citing cases and just having a nice, clean, cleaned-up parenthetical that basically says you're altering the quotation in various ways without making much the difference. I think it's notable just because that explanatory parenthetical has been, has sort of been getting traction in recent years. But I believe this is the first time it's ever appeared in a Supreme Court majority opinion. So just as Patrick and his client are making history in a bunch of other ways, they've also changed the citation practice of the Supreme Court.

 

So with that, I'll turn it back to Patrick and I imagine Patrick might have some thoughts in response to my very respectful disagreement with some of his comments.

 

Patrick Jaicomo:  Yeah. Thanks, Roman. I'll start off with the easy one and say I'm certainly

happy that the Court is moving in this cleaned-up direction. I think that's a useful parenthetical to anyone who's written or read a lot of briefing. The multiple "emphasis added" and "quotation mark omitted" types of long run-on citations definitely doesn't seem to add much, doesn't really direct the reader to the changes that were made clearly and cleaned-up is a great way to deal with that. We obviously didn't -- we had nothing to do with that other than the happenstance of Justice Thomas writing that in the opinion. But I'm happy for it. So we'll look at that as a silver lining.

 

Next, I'll address Roman's criticism of my saying this is a partial victory a partial defeat. So I'll start off by conceding there's no two ways about it. The government asked for a reversal. We asked for an affirmance. And 9-0 the Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit. So that's a defeat in many ways of characterizing it. The point about the substantive victory, though, is a little bit more nuanced. And that's because throughout all of the briefing that took place from the government and from James King's side, this alternative second claim argument always came up and the government's position quoting back language from Simmons v. Himmelreich which was the previous FTCA case, judgment bar case, that the Court decided, which was the government was arguing James King by allowing James King to continue this case, he was being given "two bites at the apple."

 

And so this one bite versus two bite argument was infused throughout the discussion and even when oral argument started, the government was not interested in saying this Court doesn't have to address that. The government actually said: "It's been fully briefed. The Court can address it." And then after a number of the justices at oral argument kind of suggested to the government that maybe this wasn't properly before the Court, and some of them actually said: "maybe this is a pretty good argument, but maybe it's not before the Court. Maybe we shouldn't decide it." And by the time it got to Justice Kavanaugh, then the government said: "Actually, you know what?  Let's not address that." And the Supreme Court didn't address that.

 

So the view of this as a victory or at least not a complete defeat is certainly one from the more first-person perspective of James King being allowed to continue this lawsuit. So overall, there's no doubt the Supreme Court sided with the government in its decision.

 

But finally, now on this issue of returning to the Sixth Circuit, there is definitely unhelpful precedent in the Sixth Circuit. We’ll put it that way. It's not necessarily that the Sixth Circuit address this issue head-on. Instead like most of the courts, actually, that have addressed this whether the judgment bar applies to multiple claims in a single lawsuit, it's sort of, as Justice Sotomayor actually points out in her concurrence, it's just like the courts never really got into that issue and just assumed without any actual independent consideration or looking at the relevant statutory language or common law concepts. They just assumed that the judgment bar would preclude claims brought together in a single lawsuit.

 

And so it's to be seen exactly how that case will factor in on remand or whether the Court might ultimately have to take another look or want to take another look at this case. It certainly, as Roman points out, is possible. But the Court basically saying, "Hey, this area of the law is somewhat confused," certainly with Justice Sotomayor saying that "very confused," the Sixth Circuit needs to take a look at it, that has some of the trappings of the Court saying, "Hey, this issue's not right for our consideration, but we want to consider this issue at some point." So who knows whether this will be one that needs an en banc panel in the Sixth Circuit or even causes the Supreme Court to rehear this case on that separate issue in the years to come.

 

So we will find out and I'm very much hoping that whatever the case may be, just as in my optimistic read of the opinion, that James King will eventually have a chance to take his case in front of a jury and have a jury weigh the facts and decide whether what these officers did to him violated his constitutional rights.

 

And so that's all I have to add at this point. I'm happy to answer any questions and if Roman wants to respond to anything, I certainly yield to him. Otherwise, I'm happy to answer questions from the audience.

 

Roman Martinez:  Yeah. I think I'm ready to answer questions too, and just together congratulate

Patrick for his terrific work on this case, however you characterize the outcome. The briefs were very well done and their argument was terrific. And Mr. King fights another day.

 

Evelyn Hildebrand:  Wonderful. Thank you both. So I will now turn the floor over to the audience

for audience question. All right. And while we're waiting for our audience members to line up and ask a question, I will just turn the floor back over to you if you have any other questions or comments for each other at this point.

 

Patrick Jaicomo:  No. But I would like to thank Roman for his kind words. He has been a great

guy throughout this whole thing. So thanks.

 

Evelyn Hildebrand:  And actually while we're waiting for audience members to join the que to ask a question, I'd like to ask a question if that's all right with you. I wanted to ask if there are other cases that you know of that are going to be affected by the Supreme Court's decision.

 

Patrick Jaicomo:  So off the top of my head, I'm not aware of any individual cases. So this case

in and of itself, and the focus on this jurisdictional issue is somewhat unique because a lot of times the basis for dismissing an FTCA claim isn't something in the jurisdictional statute 1346. It usually is something related to one of the exceptions to the FTCA. And the FTCA is full of exceptions and special rules and special requirements. But most of the time when cases invoke the judgment bar, it's been something outside of the main provision 1346. It's usually an exception or failure to exhaust issue or something along those lines.

 

So the other issue, though, the second issue, the one that we're going to be arguing in the Sixth Circuit is one that will come up any time someone brings a parallel litigation against the United States and one of its workers under Bivens. And so that issue will have a much broader impact on a lot of civil rights litigation. The one that the Court decided last week is one that probably will not recur terribly often.

 

Evelyn Hildebrand:  Great. Thank you. And I will now turn the floor over to our first caller.

 

Mike Daugherty:  Hey. Mike Daugherty here with Lab MD in Atlanta. I've just got a general

question with your experience in this type of law. Do you find that the courts are continuing -- I mean it's a 9-0 hit -- so, they are continuing to strangle any type of litigation against the government in any way, whether through Bivens or FTCA, that Congress is sort of fading and trying to force accountability and the Court seems to keep chipping away until it disappears? And I'm kind of surprise by that if it's 9-0, but I do know you said this is a more different area of this. But what's your general take on anyone in the government being amenable to anyone else and the government being held accountable for behavior like this?

 

Patrick Jaicomo:  Yeah. So I think actually as a very general principle, getting the government

to agree to allow you to hold accountable the government and the government's workers is always an uphill battle. But on this particular issue, I really do think the 9-0 decision here from the Court is not meant to be a signal against government accountability. And, in fact, the Court's last two qualified immunity decisions, Taylor v. Riojas, which was decided in the fall, and then a decision in McCoy v. Alamu, which just GVR'd another Fifth Circuit decision applying qualified immunity in a broad sense actually, kind of signals that the Court is sort of shifting its view of qualified immunity. Now last spring, the Court had a chance to address qualified immunity and decided not to and everybody sort of read that as a, "Oh, the Court's not going to do anything other than make qualified immunity worse and worse and worse as it kind of had over the past few decades."

 

But I actually take some optimism out of Taylor v. Riojas and McCoy v. Alamu and another case called Tanzin that actually involved the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But issues of damages against government workers was the central issue in that case. And in all three of those cases, the Court has at least shifted a little bit more in the direction of government accountability and being a little bit more skeptical of using policy as a basis to deny lawsuits against government workers who have allegedly violated the Constitution.

 

So I don't think this case should be viewed as a giant blow to government accountability. I think because of the really esoteric jurisdictional issues in this case that it's kind of hard to read it as a broader statement on anything like that. I think that we'll see what happens with the same claims in a single lawsuit issue because that definitely falls more into that camp of issues.

 

Roman Martinez:  Yeah. And then I'll just add to that. I think actually in the FTCA context, the

Supreme Court has actually been fairly pro-plaintiff, generally. At least in recent cases -- I mean this case was a defeat, at least on its face, but I do think regardless of how it's going to play out in the Sixth Circuit, I think the Court sort of went out of its way. Several members of the Court at oral argument -- by my count four of them -- and then Justice Sotomayor's concurrence, I think they went out of their way to kind of signal that they are at least open to the same case argument that Patrick has been making for Mr. King. And I don't think they had to do that. I mean, I think that was a conscious choice. And I think that's a hopeful sign for FTCA plaintiffs.

 

And then if you look at two of the other more recent cases over the last decade, Simmons v. Himmelreich, which is the one I mentioned earlier that I was involved with which adopts a -- the narrower -- if the government loses that case 9-0 and adopts the narrower view of the judgment bar in that case. And then the case before that which I also was involved with when I was in the government which was 5-4 where the Court held that the FTCA's statute of limitations provision is not jurisdictional and, therefore, is subject to equitable tolling.

 

I think those are two additional examples of cases where the Court did not sort of reflexively in that plaintiff at all. And, in fact, in some ways it's going out of its way to try to make sure that people can bring these claims.

 

So I think regardless of the kind of formal outcome here, I don't think that this does -- I agree with Patrick that this shouldn't be read as assuming a broader signal about, we don't want people suing the government, or we want to make it harder for people to sue the government. That kind of thing.

 

Evelyn Hildebrand:  Great. Thank you. And at this point we'll move to our next caller.

 

Nicholas Ottati:  Hello. My name's Nicholas Ottati from South Texas College of Law. And I

guess I'm wondering where the source of your optimism is considering that only Sotomayor concurred on this opinion. I don't believe any other justices signed on to her concurrence.  And especially considering the direction the Court seems to be moving with all of the justices that Trump had appointed. If you could enlighten me on that.

 

Patrick Jaicomo:  Yeah. So the source of our optimism is footnote 4 of the opinion which keeps

alive this more important issue and, in fact, directs the Sixth Circuit to address it on remand. The Court could have very easily decided this case in the exact same way and dropped a footnote and said: "James King argues the same claims argument, but that's not before us so we're not going to decide it." And the case could have simply ended here. So the fact that the Court affirmatively kept that issue alive, as Roman said, a number of the justices asked very probing questions about that at oral argument. And then, of course, with Justice Sotomayor's concurrence, that's where our optimism comes from. Our optimism comes from the fact that not only did the Court keep the issue alive, but it's directing the Sixth Circuit to address that issue on remand.

 

Roman Martinez:  Yeah. And I would just add to that. I agree with Patrick's comments. I would

also say that with respect that no one else joining Justice Sotomayor's concurrence, I wouldn't take that as a sign that people aren't sympathetic to that view. I think sometimes in this kind of circumstance, Justice Sotomayor's concurrence is really designed to kind of just put the view on the table the lower courts need to look more carefully at this and to kind of signal strongly that at least she feels like Patrick has the better of the argument. But I think that because the other justices concluded they didn't need to resolve it, I don't think that you should take their -- the fact that they didn't sign on to the concurrence as a sign that they disagree with it.

 

Nicholas Ottati:  Thank you.

 

Evelyn Hildebrand:  Great. Thank you. And at this point I'll turn the floor back over to you if

either of our speakers have closing comments that they would like to make.

 

Patrick Jaicomo:  I'll just say thank you to everyone at The Federalist Society. Thank you to

Roman and everybody who called in for being interested in this case. One of the things that's been a real struggle litigating this case in the appellate courts is that the issues involved are just so complicated and so kind of in the real weeds of legal issues, the civil procedure and res judicata and jurisdiction. And so for people to be interested in this case, notwithstanding the fact that the issues themselves are kind of impenetrable, I really appreciate that and I certainly probably uniquely among anyone in this country recognize how complicated the issues are and how difficult they are to comprehend and explain.

 

So thank you all so much for your interest and this is the first case of the Institute for Justice's project on immunity and accountability to make it to the Supreme Court. But we have a number of others in the hopper and will continue pushing on all of the special protections like the restriction of Bivens, like qualified immunity, like the judgment bar, that get between individuals and the ability for them to seek a remedy in court when their rights are violated by government workers.

 

So thank you all so much and please check out more at ij.org.

 

Roman Martinez:  And for me, just wanted to thank The Federalist Society and all of you who

are listening in and to Patrick. This has been interesting. I'm in private practice now and haven't handled an FTCA case in a few years, but it's been interesting to revisit it. And thanks for joining me and for having me.

 

Evelyn Hildebrand:  And on behalf of The Federalist Society I want to thank both our experts for

the benefit of their valuable time and expertise today and I want to thank our audience for calling in and participating. We welcome listener feedback by e-mail at info@fed-soc.org. As always, keep an eye on our website and your e-mail for announcements about upcoming Teleforum calls and virtual events.

 

Thank you all for joining us today. We are adjourned.

 

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Dean Reuter:  Thank you for listening to this episode of Teleforum, a podcast of The Federalist Society’s practice groups. For more information about The Federalist Society, the practice groups, and to become a Federalist Society member, please visit our website at fedsoc.org.