End QI Nationwide

All across the country, nationwide measures to end qualified immunity are gaining traction. Below is a roundup of recent commentaries that speak in favor of abolishing the court-created doctrine.

Last week, the New York City Council held a hearing on a bill aimed at ending qualified immunity in the Big Apple. In response, the Institute for Justice’s Nick Sibella contributed a piece in the New York Daily News in support of this legislation.

“As a federal doctrine, qualified immunity can only be completely abolished by either the Supreme Court or Congress,” Sibella writes. “But there’s a third option: robust local reform … [T]he new Council legislation would . . . let individuals sue law enforcement officers who violated their rights. In other words, New York City would create an alternative to hold rogue agents accountable.”

Read the entire article here.

The Philadelphia Tribune published a piece that backs the George Floyd Justice in Policing Bill. The bill was recently passed by the House of Representatives and aims to, among other things, end qualified immunity on a national level. 

“While many states and municipalities have passed police reform legislation, the federal government should lead the way in setting standards on justice, policing and safety. Police brutality is a national problem,” the op-ed states. “The [George Floyd Justice in Policing Bill] is an important step toward holding law enforcement accountable for unconstitutional conduct. Urge Congress to pass this bill.”

Read the entire op-ed here.

In Louisiana, a House of Representatives subcommittee approved a proposal that would strike down qualified immunity. Gambit published a commentary urging state lawmakers to back the proposal. 

“Eliminating qualified immunity won’t fix all the problems of modern policing. However, if it saves even one Louisianan’s life, it will be worth the effort — and cops who follow the law have nothing to fear,” the piece argues.

Read the entire commentary here.

In a Santa Fe New Mexican op-ed, Daniel Pauly voiced his support for HB 4, his state’s bill aimed at ending QI.

“New Mexicans deserve justice when abuse by police and other government actors destroys their lives,” writes Pauly, who unsuccessfully sued the NM officers who killed his son in 2011.  “The time has come in New Mexico to end the abuses promulgated by qualified immunity.”

Read his op-ed here