Civil and Human Rights

RELEASE: JUSTICE Act Fails to Ensure Accountability

WASHINGTON – On introduction of the JUSTICE Act this morning, CAC President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following statement:

Earlier today, Senator Tim Scott and Senate Republican leadership introduced the JUSTICE Act, their purported response to the national and global outcry for true equality and systemic change in the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other African American men and women over generations at the hands of police. 

The path towards justice, however, begins with accountability, and this bill is entirely lacking on that score. The JUSTICE Act does not end qualified immunity, does not criminalize the reckless use of excessive force, and does not expand the authority to conduct pattern or practice investigations—all of which are necessary first steps to hold law enforcement accountable when they violate federally and constitutionally protected rights. 

The Constitutional Accountability Center continues to call on Congress to pass H.R. 7085, the Ending Qualified Immunity Act—introduced recently by Representatives Justin Amash (L-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and co-sponsored by members of both parties—which would ensure government accountability, encourage courts to play their historic role of redressing abuse of power, and create an incentive for governments to properly train, staff, and equip their departments.

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Resources:

“CAC Endorses the Ending Qualified Immunity Act,” Statement of CAC President Elizabeth Wydra, June 5, 2020: https://www.theusconstitution.org/news/release-cac-endorses-the-ending-qualified-immunity-act/ 

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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 www.theusconstitution.org.

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