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One of the most important doctrines in civil rights litigation is qualified immunity, which holds police officers and other officials immune from suit for constitutional violations unless they act incompetently or knowingly violate the law. This Supreme Court term may mark an important inflection point for the doctrine. In recent years, the Court has aggressively enforced immunity that protects officers from suits, but last term Justice Clarence Thomas called for the doctrine of qualified immunity to be reconsidered. On Wednesday, October 4th, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in District of Columbia v. Wesby, the latest case that involves this doctrine of qualified immunity. Professor William Baude of the University of Chicago joined us for a Teleforum on the current state of the Supreme Court's qualified immunity jurisprudence and its trajectory in light of Wesby and other cases.
Prof. William Baude, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School