Tags: supremecourt | police | lawsuit | qualifiedimmunity

Supreme Court Could Make It Easier to Sue Police

The U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court (Saul Loeb/ Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 05 June 2020 03:52 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering multiple cases that could make it easier to file lawsuits against law enforcement officers over serious misconduct, NBC News reports.

The court may take up a case that would involve weighing in on the legal practice of qualified immunity for law enforcement officers, which states that police cannot be held legally responsible if they violate a person’s civil rights unless that conduct has already been established by the court to be illegal.

"Qualified immunity means that government officials can get away with violating your rights as long as they violated them in a way nobody thought of before," said Anya Bidwell, an attorney with the Institute of Justice, which is currently advocating for the Supreme Court to take up the issue. "That means that the most egregious abuses are frequently the ones for which no one can be held to account."

The Cato Institute’s Clark Neily noted that the family of George Floyd, should they decide the sue the officer who knelt on his neck and caused him to asphyxiate, would have to first find a court ruling that explicitly states an officer cannot do that.

"If no such case happens to be on the books, their case will be summarily tossed out of court," Neily said. "Such is the perversity of the Supreme Court’s qualified immunity doctrine.”

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The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering multiple cases that could make it easier to file lawsuits against law enforcement officers over serious misconduct, NBC News reports...
supremecourt, police, lawsuit, qualifiedimmunity
225
2020-52-05
Friday, 05 June 2020 03:52 PM
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