Qualified immunity is a judge-made legal protection that shields government officials from claims of unconstitutional conduct. It is a unique and specialized defense available only to government actors and can, if applied, allow those actors to avoid responsibility for constitutional violations.
Qualified Immunity has been thrust into the spotlight in cases of misconduct by law enforcement. When sued for constitutional violations, police officers frequently claim qualified immunity applies and therefore the case should be dismissed.
We take a deeper look at qualified immunity in this Hot Topic Series.