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QUALIFIED IMMUNITY: WHAT IS IT?

WHITE SPEAK LISTENER ASKS, "WHAT IS QUALIFIED IMMUNITY?"


Listener Question - (Prelude Ep. #1.4)


WHAT IS QUALIFIED IMMUNITY?


Host, Cayman Grant talks about "QUALIFIED IMMUNITY"-- what it is, where it came from and why it matters that the Supreme Court has chosen not to review the most recent cases brought for review.


Direct Link to Episode:https://www.whitespeakpodcast.com/podcast-1/episode/48995bda/qualified-immunity-what-is-it-listener-question-pre-lude-ep-14




U.S. CONGRESS 2020

RE: QUALIFIED IMMUNITY


Following a number of civilian deaths during encounters with US police, there was a heightened awareness of the case and the concept of qualified immunity, coming to a head with the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. Numerous other similar cases where the government had settled cases and law enforcement officers were able to claim qualified immunity came to light, placing public pressure on Congress to rectify the situation. 


In the Senate, Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a resolution which asserts that the broad overreach and injustice of the concept of qualified immunity stemming from successive Supreme Court decisions is based "on a mistaken judicial interpretation of a statute enacted by Congress".


In Congress, Justin Amash (L-MI) introduced the Ending Qualified Immunity Act which criticized the interpretation of Section 1983 by the Supreme Court in Pierson v. Ray and subsequent rulings, claiming that the interpretation is erroneous. It adds the following text to Section 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 other wise, 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.


Rep Karen Bass (D-CA) introduced a separate bill that has passed the House of Representatives 236-18.In this bill, Section 1983 was amended by adding the following text:


It shall not be a defense or immunity in any action brought under this section against a local law enforcement officer (as such term is defined in section 2 of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020), or in any action under any source of law against a Federal investigative or law enforcement officer (as such term is defined in section 2680 of title 28, United States Code), that—


(1) 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 the conduct was committed; or


(2) the rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws were not clearly established at the time of their deprivation by the defendant, or that at such time, 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.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is a civil rights and police reform bill drafted by Democrats in the United States Congress, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 8, 2020. The legislation aims to combat police misconductexcessive force, and racial bias in policing.


The bill passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on a mostly party-line vote of 236–181, but is not expected to advance in the Republican-controlled Senate. President Donald Trump opposes the legislation

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