Tuesday, June 17, 2008

SCOTUS Grants Cert. In Case Involving Interpretation of Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly

On Monday the Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari in the case of Ashcroft v. Iqbal, --- S.Ct. ----, 2008 WL 336310 (Mem) (June 16, 2008). This case will involve the review of Iqbal v. Hasty, 490 F.3d 143 (2d Cir. June 14, 2007), a case in which the Second Circuit opined on the meaning of the Court's 2007 pleading case, Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, --- U.S. ----, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). It is unclear whether the Court will take the opportunity to clarify its opinion in Twombly given the questions presented in the Government's petition for certiorari:

1. Whether a conclusory allegation that a cabinet-level officer or other high-ranking official knew of, condoned, or agreed to subject a plaintiff to allegedly unconstitutional acts purportedly committed by subordinate officials is sufficient to state individual-capacity claims against those officials under Bivens.

2. Whether a cabinet-level officer or other high-ranking official may be held personally liable for the allegedly unconstitutional acts of subordinate officials on the ground that, as high-level supervisors, they had constructive notice of the discrimination allegedly carried out by such subordinate officials.


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