• Yet another federal judge tears into qualified immunity, citing Cato Institute & Will Baude

    Jay Schweikert | September 21, 2018

    The legal blogosphere has been abuzz with Judge Willett’s recent “dubitante” concurrence in Zadeh v. Robinson, in which the Twitter superstar and Supreme Court shortlister urged reconsideration of the judge-made doctrine of qualified immunity. Yet just one day before that decision was released, another federal judge — James O. Browning, in the District of New Mexico — issued his own blistering criticism of the doctrine,

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  • The campaign against qualified immunity is steadily expanding

    Jay Schweikert | September 13, 2018

    You would be hard pressed to find an issue that unites a wider and more diverse set of allies than opposition to qualified immunity. Justices Thomas and Sotomayor (joined by Justice Ginsburg) have both criticized the doctrine, as have a growing chorus of diverse lower-court judges — including newly appointed Judge Don Willett, of the Fifth Circuit. And recall that the recent amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to reconsider the doctrine was quite possibly the most diverse brief ever filed with the Court (including,

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  • The Tenth Circuit’s cowardly refusal to decide whether 20 years in solitary violated prisoner’s constitutional rights

    Jay Schweikert | August 30, 2018

    Solitary confinement is one of the cruelest, most severe conditions that our criminal justice system may impose on prisoners. The combination of tiny cells (sealed to block all outside light and sound), lack of human interaction, and extremely limited access to the outside world add up to a treatment that is a mere stone’s throw from outright sensory deprivation torture. The long-term, injurious effects on prisoners for even short periods of such confinement, in terms of both physical and mental health,

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  • The Basics of Qualified Immunity: The Four U’s

    Jonathan Blanks | July 6, 2018

    Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine invented out of whole cloth by the U.S. Supreme Court that protects government agents, including particularly law enforcement officers, who violate someone’s constitutional rights from federal civil liability. This website is dedicated to explaining how and why the qualified immunity doctrine needs to be eliminated.

    There are many technical aspects to the doctrine, which are discussed in more detail elsewhere on this site, but the general public needs to know these four basic facts.

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  • What Happened to PoliceMisconduct.net?

    Jonathan Blanks | July 1, 2018

    The National Police Misconduct Reporting Project (NPMRP) and PoliceMisconduct.net (PM.net) were the products of a non-governmental, non-partisan project by the Cato Institute. NPMRP attempted to determine the extent of police misconduct in the United States, identify trends affecting police misconduct, and report on issues about police misconduct in order to enhance public awareness on issues regarding police misconduct across the country.  NPMRP used media reports detailing both alleged and confirmed cases of police misconduct. All information gathered was manually validated to determine the credibility of the report,

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