Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) wants to end qualified immunity.
The insidious legal doctrine allows police officers to violate your civil rights with absolute impunity if those rights have not been spelled out with near-identical precision in preexisting case law. Theoretically, it protects public officials from bogus civil suits, but practically it often allows egregious misconduct.
George Floyd's death at the hands of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin forced new life into the debate, shining light on a doctrine that many people say has contributed to an environment of police abuse. Amash announced late Sunday that he would introduce the End Qualified Immunity Act, with Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D–Mass.) signing on as a cosponsor Thursday.
"It is the sense of the Congress that we must correct the erroneous interpretation of section 1983 which provides for qualified immunity," the bill reads, "and reiterate the standard found on the face of the statute, which does not limit liability on the basis of the defendant's good faith beliefs or on the basis that the right was not 'clearly established' at the time of the violation."