Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Faculty Publications

Civil Rights and Discrimination

Qualified Immunity of Public Officers

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

Qualified Immunity, Sovereign Immunity, And Systemic Reform, Katherine Mims Crocker May 2022

Qualified Immunity, Sovereign Immunity, And Systemic Reform, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

Qualified immunity has become a central target of the movement for police reform and racial justice since George Floyd’s murder. And rightly so. Qualified immunity, which shields government officials from damages for constitutional violations even in many egregious cases, should have no place in federal law. But in critical respects, qualified immunity has become too much a focus of the conversation about constitutional-enforcement reform. The recent reappraisal offers unique opportunities to explore deeper problems and seek deeper solutions.

This Article argues that the public and policymakers should reconsider other aspects of the constitutional-tort system—especially sovereign immunity and related protections for …


The Supreme Court's Reticent Qualified Immunity Retreat, Katherine Mims Crocker Sep 2021

The Supreme Court's Reticent Qualified Immunity Retreat, Katherine Mims Crocker

Faculty Publications

The recent outcry against qualified immunity, a doctrine that disallows damages actions against government officials for a wide swath of constitutional claims, has been deafening. But when the Supreme Court in November 2020 and February 2021 invalidated grants of qualified immunity based on reasoning at the heart of the doctrine for the first time since John Roberts became Chief Justice, the response was muted. With initial evaluations and competing understandings coming from legal commentators in the months since, this Essay explores what these cases appear to say about qualified immunity for today and tomorrow.

The Essay traces idealistic, pessimistic, and …