Correctional Services Corp. v. Malesko, 534 U.S. 61, 11 (2001)

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Cite as: 534 U. S. 61 (2001)

Opinion of the Court

effects of the Bivens remedy would be lost"). This case is, in every meaningful sense, the same. For if a corporate defendant is available for suit, claimants will focus their collection efforts on it, and not the individual directly responsible for the alleged injury. See, e. g., TXO Production Corp. v. Alliance Resources Corp., 509 U. S. 443, 464 (1993) (plurality opinion) (recognizing that corporations fare much worse before juries than do individuals); id., at 490-492 (O'Connor, J., dissenting) (same) (citing authorities). On the logic of Meyer, inferring a constitutional tort remedy against a private entity like CSC is therefore foreclosed.

Respondent claims that even under Meyer's deterrence rationale, implying a suit against private corporations acting under color of federal law is still necessary to advance the core deterrence purpose of Bivens. He argues that because corporations respond to market pressures and make decisions without regard to constitutional obligations, requiring payment for the constitutional harms they commit is the best way to discourage future harms. That may be so, but it has no relevance to Bivens, which is concerned solely with deterring the unconstitutional acts of individual officers. If deterring the conduct of a policymaking entity was the purpose of Bivens, then Meyer would have implied a damages remedy against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; it was after all an agency policy that led to Meyer's constitutional deprivation. Meyer, supra, at 473-474. But Bivens from its inception has been based not on that premise, but on the deterrence of individual officers who commit unconstitutional acts.

There is no reason for us to consider extending Bivens beyond this core premise here.5 To begin with, no federal

5 Justice Stevens claims that our holding in favor of CSC portends "tragic consequence[s]," post, at 81, and "jeopardize[s] the constitutional rights of . . . tens of thousands of inmates," ibid. He refers to examples


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