William Baude on the Origins of Qualified Immunity

Qualified Immunity: Origins of a Police Liability Shield (Video)

The U.S. Supreme Court’s legal doctrine that shields public officials from liability in civil cases is getting renewed attention during the national debate over police accountability. Qualified immunity was created by the court in the late 1960s—and expanded in the 1980s—to free public officials such as police officers from the fear of frivolous lawsuits for doing their job. It since has morphed into something critics see as a major obstacle to holding police accountable for misconduct. This video, featuring University of Chicago law professor William Baude and Bloomberg Law Supreme Court reporter Kimberly Robinson, explores qualified immunity’s roots and examines the push to end it.

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