Why is Biden’s Justice Department arguing for the dismissal of E. Jean Carroll’s defamation claim against Donald Trump? Because the issue of limiting liability of federal officials in future claims goes well beyond one president or even all presidents.
Mark C. Niles teaches and specializes in civil procedure, constitutional law, administrative law and governmental liability at Hofstra University's Maurice A. Deane School of Law. After graduating from Wesleyan University and Stanford Law School, Professor Niles served as a clerk for the Honorable Francis Murnaghan, Jr., of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals; as a litigation associate at the D.C. firm of Hogan and Hartson; and as a staff attorney on the Civil Appellate staff of the U.S. Department of Justice. He has also served as Dean of Seattle University School of Law from 2010 to 2013.
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It's time to apply vicarious liability to local governments whose police officers violate the civil rights of residents. The change would be a more important reform for Section 1983 litigation than getting rid of qualified immunity for individual officers.