Civil and Human Rights

RELEASE: CAC Endorses the Ending Qualified Immunity Act

WASHINGTON — On the reintroduction today of the Ending Qualified Immunity Act by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following statement:

Let’s be clear: The only way to fix qualified immunity is to end it. That is what the Ending Qualified Immunity Act would do. Rights mean little without accountability for violations of those rights. The judge-made doctrine of qualified immunity stands in the way of such accountability.

Ending qualified immunity would help ensure government accountability by encouraging courts to play their historic role of redressing abuse of power, remedying wrongdoing by those sworn to uphold the law, and by creating an incentive for governments to properly train, staff, and equip their departments to ensure respect for constitutional rights.

These principles are not new. In the wake of the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment sought to end the deprivation of rights that African Americans suffered at the hands of state and local governments. One hundred fifty years ago, Congress drafted Section 1983 to make that goal a reality. Qualified immunity frustrates that goal, however, standing in the way of fundamental constitutional accountability. Congress must end qualified immunity.



“Pressley, Markey Reintroduce Legislation to Fully End Qualified Immunity,” March 1, 2021:

“The Supreme Court Enabled Horrific Police Violence by Ignoring Constitutional History,” David H. Gans, Slate, June 3, 2020:


Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at



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