A trial judge dismissed the case, but a unanimous panel of three judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City revived it. The 1993 law, Judge Rosemary S. Pooler wrote for the panel, allowed Tanvir to demand money from agents.
Judge Clarence Thomas, writing for court on Thursday, agreed. “There may be political reasons why Congress may wish to protect government employees from personal liability, and Congress is free to do so,” he wrote. “But there is no constitutional reason why we have to do it for him.”
Judge Thomas noted that officers may nonetheless be protected by the qualified immunity doctrine, which protects government officials from prosecution for violation of constitutional rights that were not clearly established at the time of the conduct in question. . This issue was not referred to the court.
In the Delaware case, Carney v. Adams, No. 19-309, the court ruled that a lawyer challenging the partisan balancing act in the state’s justice system had not suffered the kind of tangible harm that gave him standing to sue. Judge Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the court, said lawyer James R. Adams seemed more interested in the abstract legal question of whether the system violated the First Amendment than actually becoming a judge.
Delaware’s court system is both widely admired and idiosyncratic, a product of two unusual provisions in its Constitution. One of them asserts that judges affiliated with a political party can only constitute a simple majority of the five main courts in the state. The other says that only judges affiliated with one of the two main parties can sit on the Delaware Supreme Court and two other courts.
Mr. Adams, a longtime Democrat who became what he called an “independent Bernie Sanders” when he filed a lawsuit, challenged the provisions, and the Philadelphia Federal Court of Appeals decided in his favor.
But Judge Breyer said Mr Adams had failed to demonstrate standing to sue because he had not applied for vacancies to which he was eligible when he was a Democrat, had left his retirement and had changed affiliation by the time he had filed and took no action to apply for a judge’s post.