Document Type

Amicus Brief

Publication Date


Case Name

Argueta v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement


Public Justice is a national public interest law firm dedicated to preserving access to justice, remedying government and corporate wrongdoing, and holding the powerful accountable in courts. As part of its access-to-justice work, Public Justice created an Iqbal Project in 2009 to combat misuse of the Supreme Court’s decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009). The Project tracks developments in the case law and provides assistance to counsel facing Iqbal-based motions. Public Justice is concerned that overbroad readings of Iqbal threaten to deny justice to many injured plaintiffs with meritorious claims.

In addition to Public Justice’s Iqbal-related interest in this case, the firm also represents prisoners, arrestees, other detainees, their family members, and other plaintiffs in a variety of cases involving constitutional claims. See, e.g., Hui v. Castaneda, 130 S. Ct. 1845 (2010); Dillon v. Rogers, 596 F.3d 260 (5th Cir. 2010); Menotti v. City of Seattle, 409 F.3d 1113 (9th Cir. 2005); Everett v. Cherry, No. 08-00622 (E.D. Va.) (case pending). Public Justice is concerned that Appellants’ arguments regarding supervisory liability will, if accepted, prevent many plaintiffs with constitutional claims from obtaining a full remedy.

The Legal Aid Society of the City of New York is a private organization that has provided free legal assistance to indigent persons in New York City for over 125 years. Through its Prisoners’ Rights Project, the Society seeks to ensure that prisoners’ constitutional and statutory rights are protected. The Society advocates on behalf of prisoners in the New York City jails and New York state prisons, and conducts litigation on prison conditions. The Society often litigates claims of supervisory liability.

The Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project is a private not-for-profit organization created to ensure equal access to justice for indigent institutionalized persons. Part of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, the Institutional Law Project provides direct representation services, self-help and other legal materials, and class representation to eligible low-income residents of Pennsylvania’s prisons, jails, state hospitals, and state centers. The Project also takes part in advocacy and legislative initiatives concerning institutional reform in Pennsylvania.