A number of people have contacted us recently asking some form of the question “What can I do to help?”
We’re working on better answers, but for now we have this one that came from a Civil Rights lawyer working on a Qualified Immunity case before SCOTUS right now. We have a question for you at the end of this post, so please read thorough.
“The basic answer, I think, is that qualified immunity was created by the Supreme Court, and it is the Supreme Court’s job to fix it. There is still some hope that they will–the Court has not yet moved on our case or on any of the other qualified-immunity cases currently pending–and we at IJ are committed to pressing the issue forward.
But it’s also true that, while Congress did not create the problem, Congress is absolutely empowered to fix it. I know Justin Amash has only just introduced a bill that would undo qualified immunity (the first such bill I know of, despite the fact that people have been decrying the doctrine for years). If someone wants something to do now, today (as distinct from the kind of long-term change that litigators like me aim for), they can call their representative and senators and ask where they stand on qualified immunity. If your senators or representative are against qualified immunity, it’s worth asking where their bill to fix it is and whether they plan to co-sponsor the Amash bill.
In the meantime, we’re going to do our best to be the tip of the spear on this issue in the courts, and support from the community will be invaluable as we do. Thank you again for your work on the problem.”
Would it help if End Qualified Immunity set up a “letter writing campaign” (or whatever they’re called in 2020) to help you contact your representatives at all levels to ask about their position on Qualified Immunity? To ask them to support Justin Amash’s bill? Please share your thoughts below.
Are there any other ideas that you think we should be exploring to help facilitate change in this area?
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