qualified immunity

In a very brief, unauthored opinion the Supreme Court denied qualified immunity in Taylor v. Riojas to a number of correctional officers who confined Trent Taylor to a “pair of shockingly unsanitary cells” for six days. The Court didn’t hear oral argument in this case, and Justice Barrett didn’t participate in it.

In the last decade the Supreme Court has repeatedly overturned lower court refusals to grant police officers qualified immunity....

The confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett begin on Monday. Judge Barrett undoubtably will be asked about her views on the Affordable Care Act, guns, and abortion. Like her predecessors, she will try to say as little as possible about her views on hot button issues.

But what about her thoughts on less controversial topics the Supreme Court decides on a more regular basis, upon which states and local governments may...

For the last 50 years the Supreme Court has leaned right. But there has always been an unreliable conservative “swing” Justice at the center of the Court. First, Justice Powell, then Justice O’Connor, next Justice Kennedy, and most recently (and very briefly) Chief Justice Roberts.

If Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed the Court is likely to have five reliable conservative votes in the big, controversial cases (Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett). Chief Justice Roberts’ vote will no longer matter, and...

The Supreme Court refuses to hear thousands of cases a year. So, the denial of a petition, or even multiple petitions on the same issue, is rarely noteworthy. On Monday the Supreme Court denied nine petitions involving qualified immunity and 10 petitions involving guns. Had the Court accepted any of these petitions the case would have had...

The doctrine of qualified immunity protects state and local officials from individual liability unless the official violated a clearly established constitutional right. Some of the police reform bills Congress is considering eliminate qualified immunity for state and local police and correctional officers.

What does it mean for a state or local official to have qualified immunity and what would the impact be if it was eliminated?

The evolution of qualified immunity began in 1871 when Congress adopted 42 U.S.C. § 1983...

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