Breaking Bivens?: Falsification Claims After Ziglar v. Abassi and Reframing the Modern Bivens Doctrine

By Alex Langsam

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Ziglar v. Abassi purported to clarify the role of the judiciary in inferring Bivens suits directly from the Constitution, rather than a federal statute. Despite this effort, uncertainty has plagued the lower courts. While the Court’s recent Bivens jurisprudence has focused on issues concerning national security, uncertainty also persists in Bivens claims in other domains. This Note examines Bivens claims seeking damages for constitutional violations by law enforcement agents who falsify evidence, lie to procure a search warrant, and commit other similar acts of misconduct. After recognizing a broad, unacknowledged circuit split on such claims, this Note offers a framework that would resolve the inconsistences that now abound while conforming to the principles of both Ziglar v. Abassi and the original Bivens case.