Correctional Services Corp. v. Malesko, 534 U.S. 61, 6 (2001)

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Opinion of the Court

We granted certiorari, 532 U. S. 902 (2001), and now reverse.2

In Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Agents, 403 U. S. 388 (1971), we recognized for the first time an implied private action for damages against federal officers alleged to have violated a citizen's constitutional rights. Respondent now asks that we extend this limited holding to confer a right of action for damages against private entities acting under color of federal law. He contends that the Court must recognize a federal remedy at law wherever there has been an alleged constitutional deprivation, no matter that the victim of the alleged deprivation might have alternative remedies elsewhere, and that the proposed remedy would not significantly deter the principal wrongdoer, an individual private employee. We have heretofore refused to imply new substantive liabilities under such circumstances, and we decline to do so here.

Our authority to imply a new constitutional tort, not expressly authorized by statute, is anchored in our general jurisdiction to decide all cases "arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." 28 U. S. C. 1331. See, e. g., Schweiker v. Chilicky, 487 U. S. 412, 420- 421 (1988); Bush v. Lucas, 462 U. S. 367, 373-374 (1983). We first exercised this authority in Bivens, where we held that a victim of a Fourth Amendment violation by federal officers may bring suit for money damages against the officers in federal court. Bivens acknowledged that Congress had never provided for a private right of action against federal

2 The Courts of Appeals have divided on whether FDIC v. Meyer, 510 U. S. 471 (1994), forecloses the extension of Bivens to private entities. Compare Hammons v. Norfolk Southern Corp., 156 F. 3d 701, 705 (CA6 1998) ("Nothing in Meyer prohibits a Bivens claim against a private corporation that engages in federal action"), with Kauffman v. Anglo-American School of Sofia, 28 F. 3d 1223, 1227 (CADC 1994) ("[Under] Meyer's conclusion that public federal agencies are not subject to Bivens liability, it follows that equivalent private entities should not be liable either"). We hold today that it does.

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