Supreme Court reaffirms police protection by qualified immunity, a legal doctrine targeted in protests

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from The Washington Post,

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with police Monday in two separate rulings on qualified immunity, a legal doctrine shielding officers from lawsuits that has been at the center of protests and debates in Congress and state legislatures across the country since the murder of George Floyd.

The rulings signaled that the Supreme Court is not retreating from its support of a doctrine it created in the 1960s, which provides broad protections to officers accused of violating civil rights, legal experts said.

“This represents a doubling-down by the Supreme Court on qualified immunity,” said Barry Friedman, founding director of New York University School of Law’s Policing Project.

Joanna Schwartz, a qualified-immunity expert and researcher at the University of California at Los Angeles, said the “two decisions taken together send a message that the Supreme Court is not interested in participating in the regulation of police.”

The court overturned the lower-court decisions without ordering full briefing and argument, a sign it did not see them as close calls. There were no dissents.

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