Listen to Anya, Adam Liptak, and John Malcolm discuss qualified immunity on Intelligence Squared

Listen to Anya discuss policing on the New Yorker Radio Hour.  

Anya Bidwell (née Cherkasova) leads IJ’s Project on Immunity and Accountability (“PIA”). Through this project, Anya works to promote judicial engagement and ensure that government officials are held to account when they violate individuals’ constitutional rights. Anya also serves as an adviser on the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, Constitutional Torts project.

One of Anya’s PIA cases—Gonzalez v. Trevino—was heard by the United States Supreme Court on March 20, 2024. She argued the case for the petitioner, with the goal of convincing the Justices that retaliatory arrests not involving on-the-spot decisions by police officers should be actionable under the First Amendment regardless of probable cause. The decision is expected in June. 

This was Anya’s third appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court. She second-chaired Brownback v. King (an excessive force case) and Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas (a commerce clause case) in November 2020 and January 2019 respectfully.

Before joining IJ, Anya worked for a top national law firm, handling cases in trial and appellate courts. She earned her J.D. with honors from the University of Texas. Two years prior to entering law school, Anya received a master’s degree in Global Policy Studies, also from the University of Texas, and wrote a thesis on asymmetric warfare.

Anya spent her childhood in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. At 16, she left her family behind and came to America on a university scholarship. Her upbringing motivated her to study law and become an advocate for a strong, independent judiciary.

Anya’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, and the Guardian. She is also the host of live recordings of our Short Circuit podcast and a co-producer of our documentary-style podcast Bound by Oath.

Anya's Cases

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Anya's Research & Reports

Anya's Amicus Briefs

Tanvir v. Tanzin

Tanvir v. Tanzin

2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Craig v. Martin

Craig v. Martin

U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

J.W. v. Paley

J.W. v. Paley

5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Cope v. Cogdill

Cope v. Cogdill

5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

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Anya's News, Articles & Publications

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Anya's Hearings

Gonzalez v. Trevino Supreme Court Hearing

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • March 20, 2024

In Gonzalez v. Trevino, Petitioner Sylvia Gonzalez is a 72 year-old city councilwoman from Castle Hills, Texas. Ms. Gonzalez believed that the city’s mayor and city manager were ignoring her constituents and her own frustrations with the city. The mayor and other allies of the city manager in turn planned to… Read More