Civil and Human Rights

RELEASE: On House Passage of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020

WASHINGTON – On passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 by the U.S. House of Representatives today, Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following statement:

Constitutional Accountability Center congratulates the efforts of the protestors in the streets, leaders within the civil rights advocacy community, and legislators in the House for taking this important first step in providing accountability and justice. Now it is time for the Senate to rise to this historic moment and improve upon this bill—particularly by ending qualified immunity for all state actors, not just for local law enforcement. 

Let me be clear: The only way to fix the judge-made doctrine of qualified immunity is for Congress to end it, as the Supreme Court has indicated this Term that it will not. Ending qualified immunity 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:

“Qualified Immunity: The Only Way to Fix It Is to End It,” Statement of Elizabeth Wydra, June 10, 2020: https://www.theusconstitution.org/news/release-qualified-immunity-the-only-way-to-fix-it-is-to-end-it/ 

“The Supreme Court Enabled Horrific Police Violence by Ignoring Constitutional History,” David H. Gans, Slate, June 3, 2020: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/06/supreme-court-enabled-george-floyd-murder-police-violence.html

“Civil Rights Coalition Letter on Federal Policing Priorities,” Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, June 1, 2020: https://civilrights.org/resource/civil-rights-coalition-letter-on-federal-policing-priorities/ 

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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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