The Supreme Court reviews cases challenging the “qualified immunity” doctrine that shields police officers from accountability

Last week, Reuters published a “Special Report” detailing how the Supreme Court’s “qualified immunity” doctrine has prevented thousands of people from suing police officers who have violated their civil rights. The Reuters report notes that “[e]ven as the proliferation of police body cameras and bystander cellphone video has turned a national spotlight on extreme police tactics, qualified immunity . . . is making it easier for officers to kill or injure civilians with impunity.”

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court considered thirteen separate certiorari petitions involving challenges to the “qualified immunity” standard. Orders from today’s conference are expected to be released on Monday, May 18. At that point, as Jay Schweikert of the Cato Institute writes, “we will finally know whether the Justices are prepared to confront one of the most pernicious and legally baseless doctrines in the history of the Court.”


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