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1986

Article III Courts

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Government Responsibility For Constitutional Torts, Christina B. Whitman Nov 1986

Government Responsibility For Constitutional Torts, Christina B. Whitman

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This essay is about the language used to decide when governments should be held responsible for constitutional torts.' Debate about what is required of government officials, and what is required of government itself, is scarcely new. What is new, at least to American jurisprudence, is litigation against government units (rather than government officials) for constitutional injuries. 2 The extension of liability to institutional defendants introduces special problems for the language of responsibility. In a suit against an individual official it is easy to describe the wrong as the consequence of individual behavior that is inconsistent with community norms; the language ...