Monday, November 16, 2009
Insider-outsider political discrimination
In Corey Airport Services v. Decosta (Edmonson, Birch, Cox), Corey, "a self-proclaimed political outsider," claimed that the City rigged the bidding for advertising services at the Atlanta airport so as to favor the "political elite." According to Corey, this decision violated the equal protection clause by differentiating among bidders based upon their political clout. The individual defendants successfully claimed qualified immunity. Reversing the district court's denial of summary judgment, the Eleventh Circuit held that precedent did not make clear that the defendants' actions violated any clearly established constitutional right. Indeed, the Court noted that Corey's "claims of insider-outsider political discrimination present not only novel factual circumstances, but also a novel question of law."