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Case Basics
Docket No. 
(Argued the cause pro hac vice for petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
Facts of the Case 

Davis, a former employee of Louisiana Congressman Otto Passman, charged Passman with violating her Fifth Amendment right to due process. Prior to the time of her firing Passman wrote a note explaining that, even though he knew Davis as an "able, energetic, and a hard, hard worker", he preferred a man to work in her position. The Court of Appeals ruled that Davis had no civil remedies under the Fifth Amendment due process requirement.


Did the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause afford Davis a right to a civil remedy against Passman?

Decision: 5 votes for Davis, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Equal Protection

Yes. Relying on Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents (1971) and Butz v. Economou (1978), the Court reversed the lower court's conclusions. Both cases affirmed a citizen's right to bring suit against federal officers for constitutional violations. In this case, Passman violated Davis's rights through sexual discrimination. The Court added that Passman's actions and words did not constitute protected speech and that a damage remedy provided a ready mechanism for remedial action.

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DAVIS v. PASSMAN. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1978/1978_78_5072>.
DAVIS v. PASSMAN, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1978/1978_78_5072 (last visited August 25, 2015).
"DAVIS v. PASSMAN," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1978/1978_78_5072.