Mirabile dictum!: The case for "unnecessary" constitutional rulings in civil rights damages actions

Academic Article


  • This article contends that, for purposes of settling the law, courts entertaining civil rights lawsuits doomed to fail on grounds of qualified immunity should presumably address the question whether the complaint pleads a viable claim that the defendant caused a violation of the plaintiff’s federal rights. The article also contends that such "unnecessary" threshold rulings are not dicta.
  • Authors


    Publication Date

  • January 1999
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • Constitutional Law
  • Harlow
  • civil rights
  • dicta
  • individual capacity
  • qualified immunity
  • Start Page

  • 403
  • End Page

  • 437
  • Volume

  • 74
  • Issue

  • 2