Is qualified immunity unlawful?

That is the title of this new paper by our friend and colleague William Baude (@WilliamBaude on Twitter), a law professor and legal scholar at the University of Chicago. The qualified immunity doctrine is supposed to protect public officials from frivolous claims, but in practice, this judicially-created defense makes it next to impossible for us to sue public officials (like police officers) when they violate our constitutional rights (like killing unarmed civilians or breaking into our houses without a warrant). Moreover, Baude’s thought-provoking thesis poses a deeper and more intriguing question beyond the qualified immunity doctrine: what happens when it is the judges themselves who violate our constitutional rights? After all, aren’t judges supposed to hold public officials accountable; not shield them from the risk of litigation, a risk that private firms are exposed to?

Image result for qualified immunity definition

Credit: jaden

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Is qualified immunity unlawful?

  1. Kathy H says:

    Police officers can be sued for intentionally violating someones constitutional rights. Although qualified immunity makes it more difficult to prove intent. Couldn’t a police officer who is convicted of murder be sued?

  2. Kathy H says:

    Thank you. I think the problem is with the perception of “reasonable”. It is as though police are automatically given the assumption that their actions are reasonable and therefore protected. I agree with Sotomayor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s