Emory Law Journal

Volume 66Issue 1

The Officer Has No Robes: A Formalist Solution to the Expansion of Quasi-Judicial Immunity

Seena Forouzan | 66 Emory L.J. 123 (2016)

In 1871, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. Section 1, more commonly known as 42 U.S.C. § 1983 today, is the primary vehicle for constitutional tort litigation. Federal courts have imported—contrary to the plain language of the law—several immunities to this law. This Comment focuses on one immunity in particular: absolute judicial immunity. Despite the “judicial” qualifier, absolute judicial immunity has been extended to a number of parties who are not judges. Although language in Supreme Court opinions certainly supports restricting absolute judicial immunity, this Comment proposes that the Supreme Court’s muddled methodology in this area supports the expansion of absolute judicial immunity. Fidelity to Supreme Court precedent will further expand absolute judicial immunity. This Comment proposes one solution to further the values disserved by the outgrowth of absolute judicial immunity: a formalist regime that clothes only judges with absolute immunity and the rest with qualified immunity.

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Too Far From Home: Why Daimler’s “At Home” Standard Does Not Apply to Personal Jurisdiction Challenges in Anti-Terrorism Act Cases

Ariel Winawer | 66 Emory L.J. 161 (2016)

The Anti-Terrorism Act is a federal statute enacted to help grant recourse to United States plaintiffs who have lost family members in international acts of terrorism. A recent handful of Anti-Terrorism Act cases have been brought against the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority by plaintiffs whose family members were killed in terrorist attacks. A split between two district courts exists regarding whether personal jurisdiction in these cases is constitutional after the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman. This Comment explores the application of personal jurisdiction under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and argues that Daimler should not be applied to cases brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Instead, personal jurisdiction over the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority should be assessed under the federal due process standards of the Fifth Amendment, quashing concerns about the constitutionality of personal jurisdiction over these two entities.

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