The Law

Qualified immunity is not actually a law

Rather, it is an opinion given by the United States Supreme Court via various decisions.

In fact, Justice Sotomayer recently wrote a scathing dissent in a qualified immunity case:

This unwarranted summary reversal is symptomatic of “a disturbing trend regarding the use of this Court’s resources” in qualified-immunity cases. As I have previously noted, this Court routinely displays an unflinching willingness “to summarily reverse courts for wrongly denying officers the protection of qualified immunity” but “rarely intervene[s] where courts wrongly afford officers the benefit of qualified immunity in these same cases.” Such a one-sided approach to qualified immunity transforms the doctrine into an absolute shield for law enforcement officers, gutting the deterrent effect of the Fourth Amendment. The majority today exacerbates that troubling asymmetry. Its decision is not just wrong on the law; it also sends an alarming signal to law enforcement officers and the public. It tells officers that they can shoot first and think later, and it tells the public that palpably unreasonable conduct will go unpunished. Because there is nothing right or just under the law about this, I respectfully dissent.

U.S. Representative Justin Amash, alongside co-sponsors Rep. Tom McClintock (R–Calif.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D–Mass.) have introduced the End Qualified Immunity Act.

The proposed bill is embedded below. Please contact your own Congresspeople and voice your support for this bill!