Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The Ending Qualified Immunity Act (H.R. 7085)

Last week, Representative Justin Amash and 17 original cosponsors introduced H.R. 7085, the Ending Qualified Immunity Act.

Download Ending-Qualified-Immunity-Act

The Bill finds (among other things) that qualified immunity “has severely limited the ability of many plaintiffs to recover damages under section 1983 when their rights have been violated by State and local officials” and that “[a]s a result, the intent of Congress in passing the law has been frustrated, and Americans’ rights secured by the Constitution have not been appropriately protected.”

The operative text would add the following language to the end of 42 U.S.C. § 1983:

‘‘It shall not be a defense or immunity to any action brought under this section that the defendant was acting in good faith, or that the defendant believed, reasonably or otherwise, that his or her conduct was lawful at the time when it was committed. Nor shall it be a defense or immunity that the rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws were not clearly established at the time of their deprivation by the defendant, or that the state of the law was otherwise such that the defendant could not reasonably have been expected to know whether his or her conduct was lawful.’’

You can follow the bill’s progress here.




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