SCOTUS Sides with Victim in Rare QI Decision

For the first time in 16 years, the Supreme Court issued a qualified immunity decision in which it held that the defendants’ actions violated “clearly established law.” 

In his write-up for the Cato Institute, Jay Schweikert discusses the case of prison inmate Trent Taylor. Trent sued the prison officials who subjected him to horrific conditions such as forcing him to sleep in sewage. Although the Fifth Circuit Court granted the officials qualified immunity, Trent, with Cato’s help, filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to reverse the decision. He also questioned the Court to reconsider qualified immunity entirely. 

While SCOTUS did not agree to reconsider QI, it did side with Trent and reversed the lower court’s decision. The Court recognized that “no reasonable correctional officer could have concluded that . . . it was constitutionally permissible to house Taylor in such deplorably unsanitary conditions for such an extended period of time.” 

Read the entire article here.