Law \ Legal

Fed Judge Calls Qualified Immunity ‘Ill-Founded’

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Guido Calabresi, a senior judge on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals and former dean of Yale Law School, argues that Congress and the Supreme Court should end qualified immunity, reports Nick Sibilla for Forbes. 

Calabresi called qualified immunity an “ill-founded, court-made doctrine.”

Qualified immunity shields officers and the government from civil suits unless someone’s clearly established rights were infringed, which is difficult to prove.

The judge mentioned a comprehensive survey by UCLA Law Professor Joanna Schwartz. The survey found that in over 99 percent of civil rights cases, officers paid nothing in damages.

Meanwhile, opinion writers Anya Bidwell and Patrick Jaicomo for USA Today questioned if non officers should receive the same immunity.

In the case of Central Specialties Inc. v. Large, an engineer was granted immunity by a Minnesota court. The engineer had used a government vehicle to stop two trucks belonging to a separate company.

The Supreme Court will have a chance to examine Central Specialties Inc. v. Large and determine whether to grant immunity.

The Supreme Court will have an opportunity to review Central Specialties Inc. v. Large and decide whether that’s a fair deal.

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