LISTEN LIVE: Supreme Court hears case centered on federal agents and legal immunity


The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case on March 2 that involves the potential expansion of the Bivens Doctrine, which essentially protects federal agents from potential legal liability if the actions in question occur in the course of their employment.

The case, Egbert v. Boule, will ask questions about the First and Fourth Amendments, particularly as they relate to federal agents working on immigration enforcement near the Canada-US border.

Listen to the arguments starting at 10 a.m. ET in the live player above.

Robert Boule, a US citizen who owns an inn along the Washington state border with Canada, was allegedly assaulted in 2014 by Erik Egbert, a Customs and Border Patrol agent, after Egbert questioned Ball on the people he could have accommodated in his inn. Boule said the guests in question were legally in the country and asked Egbert to vacate his property. Boule then reported Egbert to his superiors, and the Customs and Border Patrol agent then contacted the IRS, asking the agency to perform a tax audit and investigation of Boule’s activities.

Boule then filed a lawsuit in federal district court, alleging that Egbert retaliated against him by demanding the audit. The lawsuit claims that Egbert violated the First Amendment and used excessive force when confronting Boule at his inn, which Boule claims also violates the Fourth Amendment.

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