Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #qualifiedimmunity

Most recents (24)

🧵 @IJ's been fighting hard against #FirstAmendment retaliation - litigating a dozen cases in the past few years. But people don't realize that #SCOTUS has all but killed retaliatory *arrest* claims. It's wild. Let me tell you about it (and our case👇). 1/…
While #SCOTUS is very protective of prior restraint on @USConst_Amend_I and kinda protective of non-arrest retaliation (but see #QualifiedImmunity), it's openly hostile to retaliatory arrest claims. See Nieves v. Bartlett. 2/ ImageImageImage
Worse still, the reason #SCOTUS immunizes police from retaliatory arrest claims? Pure *policy* (AKA judicial activism). You can't enforce the #FirstAmendment because police have a tough job. Seriously. Justice Gorsuch points this out in his concurrence in Nieves. 3/ ImageImage
Read 12 tweets
#SCOTUS🧵In 2014, police task force members misidentified James King as a criminal and brutally beat him. The officers never identified themselves, so bystanders believed they were witnessing a murder and called 911. Today, @IJ filed cert (for the 2nd time). #AppellateTwitter 1/ ImageImage
Litigation for the past 9 years(!) has been a case study in immunity doctrines, and has already been to the U.S. Supreme Court in Brownback v. King. I'll walk through that, but lets start with James telling his story: 2/

To begin, Mich. prosecutors charged *James* with multiple felonies. So at 21 he had to stand trial and face decades in prison. If the gov't can get a plea or conviction, most constitutional claims against police die. Thankfully, a jury acquitted James (and he refused to plea). 3/ Image
Read 16 tweets

In Taylor v. LeBlanc, the 5th Cir. holds it’s clearly established that prisons cannot hold people beyond their release date (more than 2 years in this case).

But the 5th Cir. creates a NEW ELEMENT of #QualifiedImmunity to let the jailer off. Wow. 1/
Normally, there are 2 questions for #QualifiedImmunity:

(1) Is there a constitutional violation? (2) Is it “clearly established”?

The clearly-established test does all the mischief because it requires an earlier decision on similar facts (e.g., pepper spray vs. taser). 2/
Though it’s premises are wrong (if not absurd), SCOTUS created the clearly-established test to determine whether an official’s acts were “objectively reasonable.” I.e., if there’s a similar case holding that an act is unconstitutional, it’s objectively unreasonable to do it. 3/
Read 14 tweets
1/3 My @IJ colleague @benjaminafield and I discuss the frightening trend of cops arresting people for making jokes on social media. As we explain in @dcexaminer, they get away with it because courts have displaced @USConst_Amend_I with #QualifiedImmunity.…
2/3 @IJ is litigating 2 different cases where this happened. The 1st, Novak v. Parma, is pending before #SCOTUS. There, police arrested Anthony after he parodied them on Facebook. This Friday (2/17), the Supreme Court will decide whether to hear the case.…
3/3 @IJ is also litigating Bailey v. Iles, where cops raided and arrested Waylon Bailey for making a Zombie joke (with the hashtag #WeNeedYouBradPitt). That one's in the 5th Cir. If you care about the #FirstAmendment, we need to #EndQualifiedImmunity.…
Read 3 tweets
A case in Texas, Webb county centered, that Texans should pay attention to. Qualified Immunity is head butting 1st Adm protections.

#FirstAmendment v
Appeals court to decide if First Amendment should have protected Laredo’s “big crazy lady” from arrest

Priscilla Villarreal was arrested over her Facebook postings. In a rare proceeding, the entire 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will weigh whether
she can sue, a case that could have major ramifications for citizen journalists like her -- and professional ones.
Read 57 tweets
🚨Excited to share that @TheOnion has filed the best amicus brief I've ever read in favor of @IJ's cert petition in Novak v. Parma. Novak challenges the 6th Cir's use of #QualifiedImmunity to deny #FreeSpeech protections to a parodist. 1/ @SCOTUSblog…
This is the Onion's first amicus brief, and it does a perfect job of showing and telling why parody (like the Facebook posts Anthony Novak published lampooning his local police) is a core #FirstAmendment tool. Anthony was arrested for it. Now the Onion stands with him: 2/
Much more (less funny) information on @IJ and Anthony's case here: 3/
Read 8 tweets
#AndrewJosephIII was a beloved honor roll student and athlete.

February 7, 2014, the 14-year-old Black child was murdered

And police did nothing; he was already their *target*.

For years, the Joseph family has fought for justice — to no avail.

Today, we share their story

2/7/14 was Students Day at the Florida State Fair in Tampa.

That’s when county sheriffs targeted, harassed, searched, photographed and kidnapped #AndrewJosephIII and 98 other Black children — as young as 8

And abandoned them on the side of a busy interstate, 2 miles away
After being stranded by cops 2 miles from his ride home on 2/7/14, #AndrewJosephIII was forced to cross a busy highway

And was struck and killed by a white motorist.

The cops did not arrest or even breathalyze the driver

And they didn’t call Andrew’s frantic parents.
Read 9 tweets
In #QualifiedImmunity news, a 2-1 5th Cir. granted QI to a group of Castle Hills, TX officials who conspired to throw @IJ client and then-72yo Sylvia Gonzalez in jail for exercising her #FirstAmendment rights to speech and petition. #AppellateTwitter
🧵 1/… Image
More specifically, the court held that because there was probable cause for a made-up misdemeanor charge, it did not matter that the mayor, police chief, and others conspired to have Syliva jailed for speaking out. (The decision represents a narrow interpretation of Nieves.) 2/ Image
Although @IJ and Sylvia proved that, over a decade no one in Bexar Cnty. TX has EVER been charged under the statute used to charge Sylvia for similar conduct, the only sufficient evidence is proving a negative; find people who jaywalked and DIDN'T get a ticket. (Impossible.) 3/ Image
Read 12 tweets
6 years ago Philando Castile was shot to death by Officer Yanez during a traffic stop. Many of us witnessed the harrowing moments on FB Live. RIP🧵
Philando Castile let Officer Yanez know in advance he had a legal firearm in the car and he wasn’t reaching for it. His girlfriend and her 4-year-old were in the car. But Yanez shot Philando anyway. #howcopsgetoff
Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter for the killing of Philando Castile. He used the magic words cops use to avoid liability, “I feared for my life.”
Read 7 tweets
🧵More on Egbert v. Boule, #FederalImmunity, #PoliceAccountability: @IJ has 2 petitions pending on a similar issue involving *domestic* federal policing: Mohamud v. Weyker & Byrd v. Lamb. SCOTUS has been holding those cases *since Jan.* pending Egbert. 1/…
We expect the Court will soon issue orders in Mohamud and Byrd (perhaps Monday), and what it does with them will be telling about what - if anything - is left of Bivens. If you want a little more on our cases, I have talked about them here: 2/

Big picture, Egbert is the latest in the Court's death-by-1000-cuts approach to klling Bivens (w/o having to confront stare decisis or public outrage). What Egbert holds is that federal police *involved in immigration related functions* (about half) now have #FederalImmunity. 3/ Image
Read 12 tweets
🧵Holy smokes! Conservative 5th Cir. Judge Ho, writes dubitante* in Wearry v. Foster to criticize #QualifiedImmunity, #ProsecutorialImmunity, and #Monell. In Wearry, a prosecutor fabricated evidence to put Foster on death row.

Judge Ho illustrates the immunity shell game that frequently kills meritorious civil rights claims. And he rightly explains that #ProsecutorialImmunity has no legitimate basis in American law. 2/4
Ho correctly places the problems of #ProsecutorialImmunity, #QualifiedImmunity, and #Monell at the Supreme Court's feet. Those are judicially created, legally unjustified doctrines. The Courts, not Congress, should therefore be the first place for recourse. 3/4
Read 7 tweets
6th Cir. grants #QualifiedImmunity to police who arrested a man for running a parody Facebook page making fun of them. Court declined to decide whether the #FirstAmendment covered the page (ed. it does), merely concluding it was not "clearly established."…
The Court also ends on a quote from @bariweiss. (See above.)
CODA: In Parma, Ohio, police only clear (meaning arrest someone for) 44% of *violent* crimes. Yet, they used a detective and multiple officers to hunt down and figure out how to arrest someone who hurt their feelings.
Read 4 tweets
🧵Interesting morning. At 10 a.m., #SCOTUS decided Brownback v. King, the @IJ case I argued Nov. 9. The Court gave the gov't a *formal win* by reversing the 6th Cir. on a jurisdictional issue, but a *substantive loss* by declining to end the case. 1/…
As we argued, the most important issue in this case is whether the FTCA's judgment bar can be applied to different claims brought in the same lawsuit. We say no, the gov't says yes. The Supreme Court held that the Sixth Circuit will have to decide that issue first. 2/
In a powerful concurrence, Justice Sotomayor then highlighted the arguments we made for why--as a matter of centuries of common law and statutory interpretation--a dismissal against one claim cannot preclude another claim in the same lawsuit. 3/…
Read 7 tweets
No #JusticeForJamesKing, it looks like. 😥 The Government's side in #BrownbackvKing said that King's side based his defence on two propositions that were previously rejected by the Supreme Court:...…
2/ ...(1) that when the US prevails in an FTCA action, the district court must dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and (2) a jurisdictional dismissal does not trigger the judgment bar.
3/ Respondent argued that the judgment did not preclude the action because Section 2676 imported the common law definition of res judicata. Res judicata was never applied to claims brought together in a single action.
Read 16 tweets
For those new to our work on how the original meaning of the Constitution (including its Amendments), as well as the proper reading of statutory text, lead to progressive results, a thread looking at briefs we @MyConstitution have filed in major #SCOTUS cases over the years...1/x
We have been a leading progressive legal voice across matters facing #SCOTUS since 2008, on issues including defense of #abortion rights, marriage equality, #ACA, affirmative action, right to vote, environmental protection, against #QualifiedImmunity, and more.

For example: 2/x
In defense of #abortion rights, read our brief in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt:… 3/x
Read 9 tweets
In 2002, Berkeley UCPD made trading cards for their officers so students could get to know their cops: "In lieu of conventional business cards, the department’s new cards feature 45 officers in stereotype-defying poses."…
It's been a while, so we updated the initiative. Throughout the day, we'll introduce UCPD's roster with the latest publicly available info (2018-2020 depending). Here's Cpt. Alex Yao, under lawsuit for workplace discrimination #acaberkeley
Sgt Andrew Tucker, who hospitalized four students in 2011. Maybe they asked for it, though: Chancellor Robert Birgeneau called the protestors "not non-violent" because they'd linked their arms together:…
Read 24 tweets
This is the #DemPartyPlatform for 2020. This section deals with #CriminalJusticeReform It is clear that Dems want clear &comprehensive REFORM and the lie about abolishing police is just that- A Lie! Only one party has a platform for the next 4 on for #TheTruth #1/16
Dems believe we must ensure real accountability for individual &systemic misconduct in our police departments, prevent law enforcement from becoming unnecessarily entangled in the everyday lives of Americans &reimagine policing for the benefit &safety of the American people. 2/15
In recent years, some innovative police departments have enacted evidence-based reforms to change their approach by investing in robust training and putting in place-even more crucially, enforcing-strong standards governing conflict resolution, de-escalation & use of force. 3/15
Read 15 tweets
IN ONE HOUR: Join an important discussion about the new public safety model featuring leading legal minds like LDF President and Director-Counsel @Sifill_LDF, Center for Policing Equity's @DrPhilGoff, & @civilrightsorg's @vanitaguptaCR.
RSVP: Image
“I believe [Derek Chauvin] was staring at each and every one of us…because he believed that nothing would happen to him…and that expression, that snapshot, represents failure. It represents failure of the American legal system.”
"We are surrounded by, and deep in the clutches of, a failing system that requires our attention."
-LDF President and Director-Counsel @Sifill_LDF
Read 7 tweets
👋👋👋 Hi there, I'm Ben, your friendly neighborhood #youthvote organizer who has spent six years with @NextGenAmerica researching and learning how to get young people to vote for Democrats like @JoeBiden. Here's some quick (public) advice we've learned about what works! 1/ Image
ISSUES: @JoeBiden shouldn't pretend to be a Bernie-style progressive. Communicating about his platform is motivating, specifically:

🏥 Adding a public option to Obamacare
💰 Supporting debt/tuition free public college & HBCUs
☀️ Transition to 100% clean energy by 2035

2/ Image
ISSUES: Working with @BernieSanders's allies to make @JoeBiden's policy platform more progressive DOES increase motivation to vote with key members of the #youthvote, esp folks who are undecided or might sit out the election 3/ Image
Read 15 tweets
Again, the integrity & uncompromising commitment to justice from Judge Carlton Reeves. Whatever his ultimate decision (remember the Confederate flag case?) he serves up an opinion that tells the unimpeachable truth. This time it’s on #QualifiedImmunity.…
The plaintiff in this case, Judge Reeves tells us, was not one of the many innocent Black men & boys who lost their lives to unconstitutional police brutality. He survived. But the damage done to him is significant & lasting. And the ofcrs should not shielded from accountability. Image
But a district court judge cannot overturn the law of the Supreme Court. And so Judge Reeves grants qualified immunity to the ofcrs. But first he has something to say....…
Read 3 tweets
Two years ago we learned about the death by suicide of Marco Antonio Muñoz, a father whose child was forcibly ripped out of his arms by Border Patrol agents in the early days of Trump's family separation policy.

Last week a court threw out most of his claims for relief. /1
This article paints a clear picture about how judicially-created immunity doctrines and statutory exemptions make it nearly impossible for a person (or their surviving relatives) to get justice. /2…
Muñoz sued the US, because it was the official government policy of separating families like his that led to his death.

The claim was dismissed b/c the family separation policy and the separation itself were acts of discretion.

Dismissed because the US *chose* to do this. /3
Read 7 tweets
I'd love to see what #appellatetwitter thinks about this:

While qualified immunity is a shield against liability for past unconstitutional conduct, the neutering of Bivens is--on top of that--a license for federal officials to act unconstitutionally in the future. /1
Qualified immunity is terrible because if we say people have certain civil and constitutional rights we must allow them to hold people accountable when those rights are violated. /2
Under QI, courts frequently dismiss a person's claim even when they find that the person's rights were violated on the grounds that the right wasn't "clearly established" at the time of the wrongful conduct.

In theory, such a finding should put future state actors on notice. /3
Read 10 tweets
Why was #ElijahMcClain stopped?

Why after it was determined that he was just a guy with a bag of iced tea listening to music did the officers detain, place a chokehold on, and beat #ElijahMcClain?

Why did the officers move their body cams away from view of what they were doing?
Why did they shoot Elijah up with such a high dosage of Ketamine?

How are the officers who killed #ElijahMcClain not in jail?

Would the officers had treated a white kid the same way?

Would the DA have treated the case the same if the kid was white?

What happened to #ElijahMcClain was textbook police targeting and abuse. What’s sad is the whole system is designed to protect bad officers so it keeps happening. The cops lied about it, the DA overlooked the abuse, the police dept. accepted the abuse, and the cycle continues.
Read 4 tweets
Ever wonder why our legal system lets #police literally get away with murder?

"...the real purpose of #QualifiedImmunity is to rig the system, ensuring that abusive agents of the govt almost always win and the victims of govt abuse almost always lose."…
As District Attorney of #SanFrancisco and Attorney General of #California, #KamalaHarris had many opportunities to #prosecute #police officers for #PoliceBrutality. She chose not to.… #ProsecuteKillerCops #PoliceBrutalityPandemic #KamalaHarrisForVP #vote
“Movement” politics is how the people flex their power... This is a lesson learned in the Sixties — a period when some years saw as many as 5,000 separate demonstrations."… #protest2020 #protest #resist #movement #Politics #Politicians #BlackLivesMatter
Read 3 tweets

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