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High court limits suing officials over rights violations

It’s the latest in a line of cases narrowing the public’s ability to sue federal officials for rights violations.

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It’s the latest in a line of cases narrowing the public’s ability to sue federal officials for rights violations.

Highlights

  • The owner of the Smuggler’s Inn in Blaine, Washington, can’t sue a Border Patrol agent over a confrontation at his inn.
  • Robert Boule says the agent shoved him and then retaliated against him when he complained that the man had used excessive force.
  • It’s the latest in a line of cases narrowing the public’s ability to sue federal officials for rights violations.
  • The court has consistently declined to expand the kinds of cases, called Bivens actions after the 1971 case, in which a person could sue.
  • The case is a magnet for illegal border crossings and a place where drugs have been seized, officials have said.