Government Liability for Constitutional Torts: Proposals to Amend the Federal Torts Claims Act
Casto, William R.
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The author of this article recommends amending the Federal Tort Claims Act through enactment of House Resolution 24, introduced by the 97th Congress in 1981. The author also recommends restructuring section 1983. The author explains that these changes are necessary in order to resolve the disparate treatment federal, state, and local governments receive in constitutional tort liability situations. (The following paragraph is taken from the Introduction of the Article): First, we will review the current tort liability of the United States and its officers. Then we will consider H.R. 24, including the concept of constitutional torts and the bill’s different treatment of ordinary and constitutional torts, the scope of the United States’ liability under the bill, provisions of administrative disciplinary proceedings, and the constitutionality of the enactment of the bill. Finally, because liability of state and local governments and officials under section 1983 should be reconsidered if H.R. 24 or a similar bill is enacted, some ideas for harmonizing H.R. 24 and section 1983 will be suggested. A detailed analysis of section 1983, including proposals for amending that statute, however, is beyond the scope of this Article.