Judge Don Willett (5th Cir.) Delivers a Witty Critique of Qualified Immunity

I’m not sure where I stand on qualified immunity, but I thought this was well put by Judge Willett’s dissent in Villarreal v. City of Laredo (en banc): “One of the justifications frequently invoked in defense of qualified immunity is altogether absent in this case,” he said. “[T]hose who arrested, handcuffed, jailed, mocked, and prosecuted Priscilla Villarreal, far from having to make a snap decision or heat-of-the-moment gut call, spent several months plotting Villarreal’s takedown, dusting off and weaponizing a dormant Texas statute never successfully wielded in the statute’s near-quarter-century of existence. This was not the hot pursuit of a presumed criminal; it was the premeditated pursuit of a confirmed critic.”

“In the upside-down world of qualified immunity, everyday citizens are demanded to know the law’s every jot and tittle, but those charged with enforcing the law are only expected to know the “clearly established” ones,” he continued. “Such blithe ‘rules for thee but not for me’ nonchalance is less qualified immunity than unqualified impunity.”

The post Nice Dig at Qualified Immunity, by Judge Don Willett (5th Cir.) appeared first on Reason.com.