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.
Latest in Qualified Immunity
It's time to apply vicarious liability to local governments whose police officers violate the civil rights of residents. The change would be a more important reform for Section 1983 litigation than getting rid of qualified immunity for individual officers.
Abolishing qualified immunity, moving police misconduct payouts to police department insurance policies and having individual officers carry liability insurance could help transform policing in the United States.
My recent article “Qualified Immunity on Appeal: An Empirical Assessment” provides the most comprehensive study to date of the resolution of qualified immunity appeals in federal court. Here’s what I found.
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.
Last month, President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. We reviewed several of Barrett’s writings to glean what they might reveal about her views on issues important to Lawfare readers.
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.