In its effort to address qualified immunity, Congress should distinguish between civil actions that seek to encourage agency reform and civil actions that serve to punish wrongdoers who engage in extreme conduct. This post offers a path forward for achieving those twin goals.
Paul Stern is an attorney in Washington, D.C. His comprehensive reform proposals can be found in Tort Justice Reform, 52 U. Mich. J. L. Reform 649 (2019).
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Lawmakers focused on revamping civil rights litigation must be as focused on remedies law as they are on privileges and immunities if they hope to accomplish transformational change.
To the extent that public tort law can serve as a viable mechanism for law enforcement accountability, revamping tort claims acts, including statutory privileges and indemnification regulations, may serve as a greater vehicle for reform than eliminating qualified immunity.