Fourth Circuit Judge Criticizes Qualified Immunity

Judge James Wynn Jr. took to the Washington Post’s opinion pages to criticize qualified immunity yesterday.  The scathing op-ed remarks on how qualified immunity “prevents plaintiffs from pursuing their claims, gives officers little guidance on the contours of individuals’ rights and excuses ever more egregious conduct from liability.”

It’s rare to see a sitting appellate court judge speak out so openly against a legal doctrine, but qualified immunity is an exceptional mistake with an extraordinary cost.  Judge Wynn’s frank assessment that qualified immunity is a “defense unmoored” from a proper legal foundation contributes a valuable voice to the growing chorus of legal scholars opposed to the doctrine.  Framed by the unconscionable killing of George Floyd, the opinion brings in to sharp relief the cost of refusing to the correct the high Court’s error.

Read the full opinion on the Washington Post