The Attorney General’s Overblown Fears About Scrapping Qualified Immunity

Yesterday Attorney General William Barr expressed his opposition to scaling back or eliminating qualified immunity for police officers. Reformers think scrapping the doctrine would discourage abuses like the life-endangering restraint technique that killed George Floyd. But Barr argues that increased liability for cops—whether accomplished by the Supreme Court’s reconsideration of the qualified immunity doctrine or by legislation like the bill that Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) recently introduced—would have a chilling effect on good policing.

Defenders of qualified immunity often express that concern. But it seems to be overblown, for reasons that also put a damper on the hopes of the

Leave a Reply