Qualified Immunity

Rep. Justin Amash Wants To End Qualified Immunity. Where Are the Republicans?

The GOP claims to be the party of freedom. If that's true, they should rethink policies that embolden bad police behavior.

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Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) wants to end qualified immunity.

The insidious legal doctrine allows police officers to violate your civil rights with absolute impunity if those rights have not been spelled out with near-identical precision in preexisting case law. Theoretically, it protects public officials from bogus civil suits, but practically it often allows egregious misconduct.

George Floyd's death at the hands of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin forced new life into the debate, shining light on a doctrine that many people say has contributed to an environment of police abuse. Amash announced late Sunday that he would introduce the End Qualified Immunity Act, with Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D–Mass.) signing on as a cosponsor Thursday.

"It is the sense of the Congress that we must correct the erroneous interpretation of section 1983 which provides for qualified immunity," the bill reads, "and reiterate the standard found on the face of the statute, which does not limit liability on the basis of the defendant's good faith beliefs or on the basis that the right was not 'clearly established' at the time of the violation."

That "clearly established" bit is what's most important, as the standard has become increasingly impossible to meet. Two cops in Fresno, California, were afforded qualified immunity after allegedly stealing $225,000 while executing a search warrant because it had not been "clearly established" in case law that stealing is wrong. An officer with the Los Angeles Police Department was given qualified immunity after shooting, without warning, an unarmed 15-year-old boy who was on his way to school, because the boy's friend was holding a plastic airsoft gun replica. A sheriff's deputy in Coffee County, Georgia, received qualified immunity after shooting a 10-year-old boy while aiming at a nonthreatening dog. The list, unfortunately, goes on.

The courts' decisions in those cases mean that each appellant had no legal recourse to seek compensation for lost assets or medical bills.

As of Friday, 16 additional legislators had signed on to Amash's proposal. Not a single one of them is a Republican.

The dissonance is mind-boggling: The GOP claims to be the party of small government and freedom, and they now have the opportunity to squash a dangerous doctrine that has put deadly power in the hands of the state at the expense of the little guy.

Republicans rightly criticize public sector monopolies that inevitably hurt the people the government is supposed to serve. Take teachers unions, for instance, which the GOP has historically railed against for propping up teachers at the expense of students. They're not wrong: Unions wield enormous political power that can be weaponized to skirt responsibility and accountability.

But why, then, are they so slow to apply that very same logic to the institutions emboldening the police?

"In case after case, police unions have defended deadly misdeeds committed by law enforcement," writes Reason's Peter Suderman. Consider the case of Eric Garner, who died in 2014 after New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer Daniel Pantaleo placed him in a chokehold for selling loose cigarettes. "I can't breathe" were his last words, captured on video.

Pantaleo was fired after a police administrative judge ruled that he had violated official NYPD protocol. Although the officer broke those rules with fatal consequences, the union chose not to cast Pantaleo as an outlier—a cop who never should have been one—but instead chose to continue defending him.

As Suderman notes, "Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, Pantaleo's union, criticized the city for giving in to 'anti-police extremists' and warned that such decisions threatened the ability of city police to do their jobs," as if all officers need to reserve the right to use excessive, forbidden amounts of force.

That police unions have taken that road shouldn't be surprising. But it also reminds us why it's time for them to go, since they enable behavior that threatens the very people they are supposedly protecting and serving.

So, too, is the story with qualified immunity—a doctrine that has allowed a collection of rogue cops to throw civil rights to the wind without any fear of comeuppance. Shielding the police from accountability at all costs does not advance freedom. When it comes to qualified immunity, where are the Republicans?

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247 responses to “Rep. Justin Amash Wants To End Qualified Immunity. Where Are the Republicans?

  1. Two cops in Fresno, California, were afforded qualified immunity after allegedly stealing $225,000 while executing a search warrant because it had not been “clearly established” in case law that stealing is wrong.

    “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!!”

    1. So why weren’t the cops arrested for grand theft? QI would have nothing to do with a criminal prosecution.

      Also, LOL at the headline. Like most Democrats want QI to go away either. It must just be those mean Republicans getting in the way of Libertopia again.

      1. Most of the use cities these lawsuits occur have agreements with police unions to cover civil lawsuit costs. Democrats do not want to end QI because they would spend even more than they do now.

        And you are correct, criminal cases are the proper Avenue here. QI protects government more than a cop. Cops cant pay civil payments from jail.

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        2. Cops cant pay civil payments from jail.

          That’s what pension funds are for.

          1. I wish some of you would take 5 seconds to google a common knowledge item before rushing in to prove your ignorance…

            The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 largely exempts pensions from garnishment against suits. A recent 9th circuit ruling did away with some protections but left many questions unanswered. Their narrow ruling was based on a couple who were both subject to a criminal lawsuit whose pension would be garnished. It was unclear what would happen in cases where a pension is covered for a non criminal spouse or child. It is only the 9th that has made this judgement, with other circuits still holding to the original exemption from 1974.

            1. “The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 largely exempts pensions from garnishment against suits”

              So repeal it. I mean, we’re talking about fundamental changes right?

              Repeal it, and replace it if necessary with a law that doesn’t protect the pensions of bad actors, explicitly.

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      2. By the way… if reason was really for getting rid of bad cops they would be asking for ending civil service protections. The protections implemented by Democrats that keep bad actors on the payroll. When a police department cant fire a guy with 15 citations of abusive behavior, you have a problem. Look at the idiocy on Broward County and those jobs being given back to terrible cops.

        So let’s see it reason. Write the article on ending civil service protections.

        1. To be fair, they did write several where Union busting was specifically called out because those unions largely prevent firing of bad cops.

          1. Wow. You do realize that “Make It Easier to Fire Bad Cops” does not remotely approach “Make It Easier to Fire Public Employees” in terms of scope or reason?

            1. No, he’s busy white knighting

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            2. Wow. You didn’t completely cover that red herring with an exact 1:1 quote? Amazing.

              I thought we were talking about cops here? Oh, sorry, any topic is good if it helps you guys white knight for the GOP.

              1. Hey Lying Jeffy, still waiting for the cite of Trump saying he’s a king.

              2. Hi Jeff,

                No, it’s not a red herring. Not that you have a clue what that actually is. See the title of this piece? Amash wants to “end qualified immunity.” Exactly who has qualified immunity? Government workers. That is the scope of the discussion.

                That you want the discussion restricted to cops, and cops only, is not something in your purview (there is another term you should go look up – it means the same in Canadian as it does English.)

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        2. You didn’t see Terry Colon’s cartoon essay on what it takes to fire a misbehaving teacher?

          1. No. I don’t get my political opinion in the form of cartoons. That belongs at Vox with their Voxplainers.

        3. That tree you’re barking up isn’t the right tree.

          1. Yes. It is. Stop the escalation to abuse prior to it becoming a large escalation leading to death.

            1. JesseAz supports protectionism.and using tear gas on peaceful protesters while claiming to be a libertarian. Lol.

              He also hates Justin Amash so much that he won’t give him.credit for being obviously correct on this issue.

    2. This case must get quoted on Reason once a day. Here’s the decision: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2019/09/04/17-16756.pdf
      It’s an investigation of illegal gambling machines, so the cops busted an underground casino and all the ‘angels’ in the room told the whole truth and nothing but the truth when they made allegations against the cops. The cops provided them an inventory with $50,000 in assets seized, the guys running the illegal operation claimed it was way more. When asked for their business records showing the transactions that resulted in these gains, the good citizens said that they were burned in a fire, or lost, or eaten by their dog.
      You have to try harder to find examples.

      1. Did you notice that the decision is NOT based on whether or not the cops stole more than was in the inventory. Due to qualified immunity, the court did not allow a trial on the facts. If you are OK with that, you are justifying theft by cops, whether or not these particular cops stole.

        As for the facts, if all the equipment and cash seized was only worth $50,000, it was not much of a “casino”. Have you ever been to Las Vegas? A place with only $50K in gaming equipment is not a casino, it’s a gas station or diner with a few slot machines.

  2. It is the sense of the Congress that we must correct the erroneous interpretation of section 1983 which provides for qualified immunity…

    One branch of government viciously attacking another. Look what President Trump has done to the political discourse in this country.

    Of course Republicans aren’t going to sign on. It’s one thing to spearhead criminal justice reform, but to piss off the police unions? That would be like the Democrats embracing school choice.

    1. Teacher’s unions aren’t the problem, but here is the excuse to do nothing. Congrats

      1. “Teacher’s unions aren’t the problem”
        You.
        Are.
        Full.
        Of.
        Shit.

        1. Dammit all to hell. I have to agree with Sevo on something.

          1. Not really, you could drink until you’re passing out and then go for a swim.

            1. Typical fascist violent fantasies.

              1. Hey Lying Jeffy, I’m assuming that since you still haven’t cited Trump saying he’s a king, you were lying all those times you said it.

        2. What school did Chauvin teach at?

      2. Yeah. Teacher’s unions are all about the children.

      3. A public union that constantly tells taxpayers how crappy they are for protesting sky-high taxes, while trying anything they legally can do to block competing charter schools, to maintain their monopoly? That’s cute; tell me how teachers’ unions AREN’T the problem, Hihn. Amuse us.

      4. Truly Hihnsanity!

        1. Crazier than a fox in a Hihn­house.

          1. decent

          2. OBL is claiming Hihn has gotten the ban-hammer.
            He is a pathetic piece of lefty shit and an obnoxious liar besides, but that makes him no worse than turd or Tony (oops; turd did get banned for linking kiddie porn)
            I yield to no one in being an asshole toward ignoramuses, but I defy anyone to find where a single Sevo post was dishonest or an outright lie.
            So what got Hihn banned? Did Reason decide there is a limit to lies? If so, why are turd, Tony, commie-kid and JFree still here?

            1. If they’re banning people for lying, Lying Jeffy shoulda been the first one gone, but I doubt that’s the reason. I think kiddie porn and realistic threats are the only reasons people should be banned.

              Plus I still haven’t made his enemies list on his web page so I hope he’s not banned.

    2. On the one hand, it’s not as if Republicans were to support this, reparations, or whatever else crosses BLM’s mind that they would get credit for it. Look at the prison reform bill. At best, you get criticism of the law and order hardliners who watered down aspects of it.

      On the other hand, why piss off police unions if it isn’t going to help your position? From a tribal, realpolitik frame, they have absolutely no reason to support this.

      I mean, it would be nice to do it because it is the right thing to do, but to do it and still be called racist afterwards… show me where the upside is for them?

      1. Being on the wrong side of history has no short term drawback.

      2. And as an aside, it’s probable notable that Amash is almost definitely done with his time in office and possibly his political career so this is essentially praising a lame duck for being a lame duck.

        1. Someone with balls would’ve pushed a nationwide ban on no knocks

        2. What about the 15 Dem’s endorsing?

          You guys are really dancing around the obvious here: Amash and 15 dems want to end qualified immunity. This would be a huge libertarian policy win. Why are you excusing the GOP for being against this? “Well, they would still get called racists after…” This is bullshit. If Dems are on your policy side then dems are on your side. Don’t suddenly decide you don’t care about this policy or don’t want it now that Dems and Amash are the ones bringing it to you.

          1. What about you being a lying piece of shit?

          2. Because the policy win is actually getting it passed rather than virtue signaling for a failed bill.

            And for the bill to pass, it will require republican support.

            But as republicans have been beaten day and night with the racist stick, they might as well look after their own interest as no amount of supplication will change their fortune. They have been left absolutely no way out.

            Welcome to how race-baiters sabotage their own interests.

            1. “Welcome to how race-baiters sabotage their own interests.”

              Wrong.
              The interests they represent do not equal their actual interests.

              Watching a doc on Netflix.
              Just watched the episode about Amidou Diallo (unarmed student gunned down by cops).
              Al Sharpton played a very prominent role.
              This was 21 years ago.
              Al Sharpton is advocating the same thing now that he was advocating then.
              Al Sharpton is a very wealthy man.
              What happens to his career if his advocacy succeeds?

            2. Republicans should support the bill because it’s the right thing to do.

            3. All I hear is more GOP white knighting and excuse making. Just keep in mind that the GOP supports the using pointy end of state violence against its own citizens next time you decide to vote for less liberty.

      3. Seems some members of SCOTUS are ready to roll back this doctrine that they in fact created. If it’s a question of statutory interpretation the legislature explicitly rejecting reform will only make their task more difficult. I would rather see the court solve the problem at this point. If Amash doesn’t have the votes he may make matters worse. If SCOTUS doesn’t get it done then go ahead and take a shot at it.

  3. Pretty simple – Republicans like to suck blue dick. Always have, always will.

    1. And so do Democrats dummy. Where are all of these abuses taking place? Large urban centers without a conservative voice.

      It is amazing how dumb some of you are. Ypu not oy believe the ignorant narratives you are fed, but then you go out and repeat them as fact like a well trained idiot.

      1. You and Sevo are repeating a narrative that isn’t supported by evidence, either. Police are killing and brutalizing people all over the nation. Places like Bozeman, MT and Amarillo, TX, among many other predominately Red Team areas. Have a look at the thousands of reports at ‘Killed by Police’:

        https://killedbypolice.net/

        Blue and Red team are both incredibly authoritarian. Cops are, by and large, Republican voters who espouse right-wing authoritarian beliefs. Sure, we could move the goalposts and claim ‘they’re not actually Republicans, just self-proclaimed ‘limited government conservatives’…who happen to vote Republican 99.9% of the time!

        That’s a long way of saying ‘there are no good guys and the lesser of two evils is still evil.’

        1. I may be wrong, but nothing’s visible in that DB to show your claim to be true.
          Wanna tell us? I’m not going to waste my time searching a DB to provide evidence for your claim.

        2. Yep, thousands dead every day. Besides the racist police and racist virus, all the black people will be gone by end of summer.

          1. Well, that solves one problem.

        3. And the people who hire cops and implement policing based policies?

          Riiiiiiiight.

        4. The issue is not how many are killed by police. It is how many are unjustified. There are hundreds of justified every year. How many are unjustified, like George Floyd was. And Michael Brown doesn’t count.

    2. “Pretty simple – Republicans like to suck blue dick…”

      All those R mayors of those cities, you pathetic piece of shit.
      No one cares about your erotic fantasies.

      1. But he’s right, the eGOP and the RINOs will never hesitate to spread their cheeks for DNC constituencies.
        Conservative and Republican aren’t the same things.

  4. You’re complaining after 24 hrs…. With all the bills that get introduced, everything that needs to be read, and checking for unintended consequences…. At least give it until Tuesday to start complaining.

    1. Congress reads bills now before voting? What a country!

      1. Lots more time for doing their job now that anti-social distancing has cut deeply into fund raising parties.

      2. They have to pass it to see what’s in it.

        Like a stool sample.

        1. I like how you used corn for texture, man!

    2. Plus pelosi said it was too dangerous to be in D.C. just a week ago.

      1. While marching with protesters shortly thereafter.

        What a gigantic hoax our expert class has pulled on the citizens of the world.

        1. It’s okay, it’s scientifically proven that shouting slogans and spitting on cops doesn’t spread the virus like religious services and honest work would.

          1. Haven’t seen the reports yet; were any work boots looted this time?
            Work gloves?
            Hard hats, construction protective equipment?

        2. Don’t give the elites too much credit. The average citizen has the cognitive skills and attention span of a squirrel.

    3. This bill will never get out of committee. Or if it does, it will only be as a stalking horse, filled with a bunch of other garbage Pelosi knows wouldn’t have the votes on their own to get passed.

      It’s a quixotic gesture from a politician with very few friends.

      1. I support the 2nd half eliminating the “clearly established” requirement. It’s the 1st half I’m trying to determine potential downsides to. I’d have to go back through the Volokh Short Circuit archives, but there’s a few cases a cop was sued and I didn’t see any issue with the cops behavior (lets call those the Good Samaritan defense cases). Those cases are vastly outnumbered by the ones where the QI was used to get the cop off scott-free when they should have been tried for murder, etc.

        I’d also like to see some resolution in cops not being criminally by DAs in many cases, but I’ll take eliminating QI in the mean time.

        1. What does QI have to do with criminal charges?

          1. Legally? Nothing. Realistically? It’s what people resort to after the DA fails to prosecute or secure a conviction. Sorry, I realize I’m using the two combined but it’s due to how they tend to go together. Details below.

            I’ve read a number of the short circuit QI opinions over the years. One thing I’ve noticed is how rarely Cops are criminally charged. QI is used to defend against the civil suit. In most of those cases, the cops got off scott free because the DA didn’t charge the cop and because of a QI defense. Continuing, since criminal chargers have a higher bar to pass than Civil. So I’d like to start seeing a number of cops charged/convicted for their behavior. But I’ll start with the lower bar of them being sued in civil court with QI eliminated.

            Does that make more sense? I basically see eliminating QI as one step towards getting cops charged criminally.

        2. I figured out one thing that’s been bothering me about this. They way I read it, I think it would induce the ex-post facto clause of the constitution, meaning it wouldn’t apply to any abuses before it’s signed. Since we’re talking about undoing a pure court decision, I’d like to see something that corrects the court decision which then wouldn’t invoke ex-post facto and would then retroactively eliminate QI.

  5. Want to bet the Democrats will not end it for themselves! Yep, that shitshow where for three years the Democrats lied repeatedly on the News Shows about Trump’s supposed crimes. Adam Shit is on tape lying repeatedly and he is protected. If I was a Trump And near my deathbed put a hit out on all those people who tried to set him up. The news people and the Democrats. He is an @$$ but since they could not get him on anything they made stuff up. That is evil.

    1. One must wonder why no city, those entities that run the police and controlled by Democrats, has ever tried to do this themselves. For some strange reason, Democrats believe everything must come from the federal government.

      1. Nothing strange at all; it is easier to control the whole country with 535, than try to control thousands of counties and cities with hundreds of thousand of locals.

    2. I see someone is firmly enmeshed in the idiot rightwing bubble.

      1. cry more bitch

        1. There’s another one!

  6. “The GOP claims to be the party of small government and freedom”

    Really? Since when? And what types of freedom?

    When has conservatism ever supported broad freedom, especially when it comes to things like religion, patriotism, morality, and most personal liberties? Sure, one branch of conservatives has always promoted some sense of commercial freedom, but even that has been distorted by crony capitalism as often as not. But other conservatives have always lead the effort to codify their own moral priorities–and to call on strict enforcement.

    1. Since the alternative is a party that likes to double down on essentially the same idea’s.

      Republicans are only ‘conservative’ by comparison, as a party.

      You can tell, because spending pretty much always goes in one direction. The only variable seems to be the rate, although maybe Trump has finally managed to get Republicans to spend more.

      If Republicans become the party of big spending, which they’re close if they haven’t reached it already, then do Democrats get to claim to be conservative if they spend comparatively less?

      Survey says: apparently so.

      1. The Conservative Party in NY sucks up to police unions even harder than the other parties, AFAICT. Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Detective’s Endowment Association, I forgot how many.

      2. “…although maybe Trump has finally managed to get Republicans to spend more…”

        Your cite went missing, and you might learn the difference between “spending” and “not taxing”:

        “Trump Asks for Payroll Tax Holiday Through Election: Report”
        […]
        “President Donald Trump told Republican senators Tuesday that “he wants a payroll tax holiday through the November election so that taxes won’t go back up before voters decide whether to return him to office,” according to a Bloomberg report citing three people familiar with the president’s remarks…”
        https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2020/03/10/trump-payroll-tax-cut-plan-draws-criticism/

        Notice the anonymous sources of the claim and that those lefty shit-bags hope you will ignore the advantages of avoiding the friction of tax collection, and the added friction of the (now political) handouts courtesy of Pelosi’s clusterfuck.
        And, of course Pelosi’s motives are assumed to be ‘pure’.
        Please get tested for TDS; looks like a pretty strong infection there.

        1. hahaha, what is Trillion+ ‘ COVID emergency spending’ that Republicans went right along with? Sure, they lowered taxes early on. Good on them.

    2. ““The GOP claims to be the party of small government and freedom”

      Really? Since when? And what types of freedom?

      When has conservatism ever supported broad freedom”

      This happens every time with you idiots.

      It says CLAIMED. Try to understand that them not actually doing it has nothing to do with their CLAIMS the reread your post.

      They CLAIM lots of shit. However, being politicians, they are LYING.

      1. ““The GOP claims to be the party of small government and freedom”

        Really? Since when? And what types of freedom?

        Republicans have been making that claim for as long as I’ve been alive (1969)

        On the other hand, even going back to Regan, evidence that they actually mean it is hard to find.

  7. The author has hit the nail on the head with this post. Republicans do have a disconnect between what they say they support and what they actually do. Dems have it too, but not nearly as much. Republicans also support huge ICE and CBP militarization to go after immigrants, and massive force for the drug war (which is the leading cause of the erosion of our 4A rights).

    1. I think you are confusing Republicans with Libertarians.

      But that’s OK. The NY Times does that every day.

      1. No she’s dead on what the fuck are you, retarded?

    2. Republicans love the cops, so any time there’s an issue with cops it points a finger at the Police Unions, or the chief who was appointed by a Democrat mayor. Never at the system itself. Maybe it’s just a few bad apples spoiling the barrel, but the Republicans ignore the barrel entirely and point the finger at whoever pointed out that the barrel is spoiling from the inside out.

      Because before it was ever faux-tarian and pretending to be fiscally conservative, the Republican Party was first and foremost the LAW AND ORDER party.

      1. Democrats love the cops too dummy. Sure they yell loudly at small specific times, but go right back to loving them when protests quiet down.

        1. Democrats must love the cops, because they keep creating more work for them.

  8. “Rep. Justin Amash Wants To End Qualified Immunity. Where Are the Republicans?”

    They’re probably not taking his calls anymore since he abandoned the Republican party, joined the Libertarian Party, and is running against the Republicans in Michigan, an important swing state.

    Any other silly questions?

    1. Who is John Galt?

      1. Justin Amash is no John Galt.

        1. To be fair, John Galt didn’t exist, even in the book, and so accomplished exactly nothing. Amash became a senator, and did actually advance the cause of liberty, if only by a little.

          1. “…did actually advance the cause of liberty, if only by a little.”

            I missed it; got a cite?

            1. Bringing the subject up in the well of the senate alone is more than John Galt ever accomplished.

          2. Congressman.

    2. Are politicians more interested in themselves and their political parties, than they are, in the rights of the people? Is water wet?

      1. Political parties exist to dominate legislatures through cooperation.

        This is only a startling revelation to incredibly ignorant and stupid people.

        Justin Amash committed political suicide by cutting himself off from the party, and the reason no one in the Republican party is following him is because committing political suicide is a stupid thing to do.

        1. “Justin Amash committed political suicide by cutting himself off from the party,..”

          And then proved how dedicated he was to his principles by mounting a, what, 2-week, campaign for the Libertarian nomination.

          1. Yeah, I’d love to put a stake through the heart of the idea that being principled is all about never doing anything that makes us feel uncomfortable.

            Being principled is about standing by your principles–even when it’s hard. I don’t like President Trump’s goals on immigration or his policies on trade, but if I’m wiling to support his reelection anyway because he’s a bulwark against the outright authoritarian socialism being advocated by Democrats in Congress, that doesn’t mean I’m being unprincipled.

            If anybody is being unprincipled, it’s those who won’t stand up for the good of libertarian capitalism against authoritarian socialism if it means they have to vote for Donald Trump.

            1. “If anybody is being unprincipled, it’s those who won’t stand up for the good of libertarian capitalism against authoritarian socialism if it means they have to vote for Donald Trump.”

              The political stance of the virtue-signalers.

          2. 9 days maybe? It was a concetrated effort, to be sure.

            1. One day to declare, a week to decide it was too much trouble?

              1. He said he wasn’t gonna run because, even if he got the LP nomination, there was no way the LP nominee could win. Which is true- but not really the attitude of a warrior for freedom.
                “We do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” Or something.

                1. That’s what she said.

          3. Amash and his crew didn’t do their homework before jumping into the LP presidential race. A few problems surfaced quickly. Even among the LP rank-and-file there was questions about the legality of the online convention. COVID-19 has impacted ballot access petition drives. LP might not be on the ballot in all states. He was expecting an easy path to the nomination. A lot of folks were offended by his late entry. Came off as expecting a red carpet to be rolled out.

            1. Somehow the source for this escapes me, but it was pointed out to another politico who bolted one party for another:
              “Like the Catholic church, we welcome converts. But we don’t make the Pope the next day.”

              1. Hitler?

    3. Because it’s all about Team Colors. Everything Amash does is wrong because he doesn’t have the right colors. Crips versus Bloods.

      And Democrats want to end Qualified Immunity, so naturally all right thinking Republicans must automatically be against it!

      1. “And Democrats want to end Qualified Immunity…”

        We know this, since the Ds running all those blue cities are petitioning their reps, right?
        This is called ‘simplistic thinking’, and it’s coming from the right source.

      2. You wear your colors louder than almost anyone. You bitch about other groups constantly.

      3. Weird that this wasn’t something America’s first Black President was interested in. Guess he was too busy beefing up American intelligence agencies and arming domestic law enforcement…

        Odd, right?

        Instead they focused on…health care for elderly white people?

        Huh…guess the theory is a minority woman will care more about Black men? That…sounds familiar but I can’t put my finger on it…

        And who is the alternative candidate that’s supposed to care, according to Democrats? Joe Biden? Excuse my hysterical laughter.

      4. “And Democrats want to end Qualified Immunity”

        Democrats like Obama?

        Then WHY DIDN’T HE.

    4. This might explain why nobody is signing on to Amash’s bill, but it doesn’t explain why nobody is putting forward their own version of Amash’s bill. Just because you’re boycotting Kroger doesn’t mean you can’t buy pretty much the same groceries at Publix. It ain’t Amash the GOP is opposed to, it’s looking like they’re weak on the law-and-order front that makes them oppose any attempt to weaken the government’s goons. It’s the same reason they’re all gung-ho to go after those few bad apples that abused the power of the security state to go after Trump but still believe Snowden was a traitor for exposing the massively unconscionable things the security state was doing. We need the secret police to protect us from threats to our government and society und Der Vaterland and if they have to rape you to protect you from being raped, well, that’s just the cost of being safe from being raped.

      1. It’s not rape if you agreed to it.

    5. Amash was in the House for 10 years and Reason never once complained he was taking too long to end QI. Now 24 hours is too much when they can get a political attack in.

      1. Brown Envelope journalism. Amash 2020 was paid up till November.

  9. Wow! 16 whole Democrats (out of a House majority) have signed on. Party of civil liberties!

    1. Let’s not get distracted by facts and logic, SIV. The point is that the whole country has risen up against the police, and the reasons they want to strip government officials of their qualified immunity is just and true. We know that because they’re against racism, amirite?

      Incidentally, I’m not convinced that stripping all public officials of all qualified immunity makes a lot of sense. If we want to write a law saying that qualified immunity can’t be invoked in cases of police brutality, that’s one thing.

      On the other hand, subjecting public officials to a slew of lawsuits against them personally every time they decide to do something global warming activists, animal rights activists, anti-fa, or NIMBYs don’t like doesn’t make sense. Maybe we should think of it this way: Any Reason staff member who opposes taking away Section 230 has no business wanting to strip public officials of all qualified immunity–for pretty much all the same reasons.

      1. “Any Reason staff member who opposes taking away Section 230 has no business wanting to strip public officials of all qualified immunity–for pretty much all the same reasons.”

        Really good point

      2. Reforming qualified immunity sounds great, until you look at every other piecemeal reform act’s eventual final draft. Not that any of this is going to come to pass anyway. Protest movements with pillaging parasites along for the ride are destined to fail harder than even peaceful activism.

        I wasn’t aware we were talking about ending qualified immunity for all state actors, but I haven’t really been paying attention to Amash’s proposal, for the reason stated in the second to last sentence in the above paragraph. But having left- and rightwing litigants scaring the bejesus out of legislators and the agents enforcing their laws and regulations seems like a good way to gum up the works completely.

        1. Decisions being made on the basis of whom the official fear being buried under a slew of lawsuits the most isn’t a recipe for gumming up the works. It’s a way to make sure the left wing activists get their way. If you’re a public official, you will never cross animal rights activists, for instance. It will not be a balancing act. It will all go one way–to the left.

      3. Since QI looks like it’s judge made law, from around the late 1970s, what did cops do before QI became a thing? Was it simply that judges were a lot better about bringing the ban hammer down on frivolous litigation? Cops certainly weren’t nicer back in the day—go read memoirs of old cops and be surprised—though they generally understood that policing styles which worked on, e.g., the border, or the slums, weren’t required on Main Street.

        There was also more of a shared public idea that if a guy fought with the cops, and caught a stick upside his head a few times, the suspect was probably at fault. Now, the opposite is true.

        1. They were able to be fired prior.

        2. They used the word “nigger” copiously.

          NO that’s not snark, it’s to remind you how far the world of 1970 is from this one.

        3. Hardly anyone was walking around with a video recording device, so the cop’s version of events was almost always believed. The only people who believed cops lied were criminals. Now, anyone who is paying attention at all knows cops often lie – and hardly ever suffer any consequences for that, even if caught on video.

          One thing besides ending QI that would greatly improve cops’ behavior would be a national register (run privately, not by a government agency, which seem to inevitably become an ally of bad cops) of cops caught in lies, so any defense attorney – or relatives of someone who can’t afford an attorney and gets a Public Defender too busy to prepare for the case – can spend a few minutes on the internet and come up with evidence to impeach a cop’s testimony. A cop who can’t testify in court can’t do his alleged job of catching criminals.

          But this won’t be effective immediately. We also need to break the union protections that keep known lying cops on the job. That is, we’ll need so many cases thrown out because the witness is a cop with a record of lying, that voters will throw out the politicians that agreed to such a union contract.

      4. Section 230 and QI two completely different issues. Section 230 is about shielding online platforms from liability that their users posted. QI is about shielding cops (and rarely non-cops) from liability for what they did to a member of the pubic that to everyone else would be clearly abusive.

        1. “QI is about shielding cops (and rarely non-cops) from liability for what they did to a member of the pubic that to everyone else would be clearly abusive.”

          I believe this is a common assumption that may not stand up to scrutiny.

          Because most people are talking about police brutality cases when they’re talking about QI doesn’t mean that non-cop officials rarely benefit from QI. In fact, if non-cop officials rarely need to invoke QI, that probably means that QI is working precisely as it should to protect them from frivolous lawsuits. It’s just that it’s mostly in cases of police brutality that we see it misapplied.

          1. Get of QI, and make cops carry liability insurance. Civil suits against cops could be heard by a magistrate with a ‘loser pays’ provision.

            1. Too easy, and doesn’t give people an excuse to break quarantine to party and eat ice cream.

            2. Do you have any idea what the premiums would be for that kind of insurance? You wouldn’t find anyone willing to be a cop who wasn’t entirely corrupt and could make money hand over fist from bribes or extortion.

              That’s as stupid an idea as abolishing the police.


      5. Any Reason staff member who opposes taking away Section 230 has no business wanting to strip public officials of all qualified immunity–for pretty much all the same reasons.

        *lights the applause sign*

      6. They can only be sued for violating constitutional rights under section 1983. None of your ‘groups don’t like stuff’ rises to the level of violating constitutional rights, so QI would never even come up.

        1. The police are individuals, and they have freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom to petition the government, too. If the law says they don’t have those rights, then the law is wrong. They’d have those rights and I’d ague to respect them even if there were no First Amendment. After all, our rights exist regardless of whether the law recognizes them and protects them.

          Meanwhile, persuading voters to kick out the progressive politicians who approve these union contracts really shouldn’t be difficult. Voting against the Democrats on your city council is easier than rioting and more likely to effectuate change, too.

          It’s not like the progressives who monopolize the city council in Minneapolis are about to throw themselves out of office, and if the victims of brutality can’t hold the police accountable half the time because of the complicity of the city council, whose job it is to oversee the police, then I think the voters should direct their wrath at the city council by way of the ballot box–before we start violating the First Amendment.

          1. What about my post are you even replying to?

            Look, it’s simple:
            When government officials act under color of law, they’re not acting as private citizens with rights, but as agents of the government. If they violate our constitutional rights, section 1983 let’s us hold them accountable by suing them. QI is judicial doctrine that says, under section 1983 suits, agents of the government are only vulnerable if the conduct was clearly established as violating rights.

            So no free speech/assembly/etc… while they’re acting under color of law. They have those rights as private citizens and when acting as private citizens. The government does not have rights, and agents of the government, while acting as such, are part of the government.

            And no Section 1983 suits just because some group doesn’t like something. They must allege and prove an actual constitutional rights violation. (Motions for summary judgement for failing to state a valid claim should be sufficient protection from nuisance suits).

            QI can only ever come up when constitutional rights are violated by officials acting under color of law. As such, completely abolishing it does not have the slippery slope or unintended consequence you wish to conjure.

            1. “When government officials act under color of law, they’re not acting as private citizens with rights, but as agents of the government.”

              People keep their First Amendment rights even after they’ve been convicted of murder. Again, just because you have a rationale for violating people’s rights doesn’t mean you aren’t violating someone’s rights. The First Amendment begins, “Congress shall make no law . . . “. Which part of that don’t you understand? The First Amendment is a restriction on the government’s ability to violate the rights of anyone to speak, associate with whom they please, and to petition the government, and there is no exception for government employees. The only exception isn’t really an exception–it’s that your speech, for instance, can’t be used to violate someone else’s rights.

              Again, your rationale does not justify the government violating the First Amendment. Anything can be rationalized. Because something can rationalized doesn’t mean it justifies violating the First Amendment. If you want to violate the First Amendment, legally, you need to pass a constitutional amendment to create an exception that isn’t there now. And even if violating the rights of police officers were legal, 1) it would still be wrong and 2) it would require the support of the voters, nationally. Why not just persuade the voters to support new city council candidates who oppose making the police unaccountable in their union contracts?

              P.S. If you don’t understand why this related directly to what you wrote, then it’s because you don’t want to understand why it related directly to what you wrote: Your rationalization is both unconstitutional and wrong and, moreover, it doesn’t address the problem of voters who are unwilling to vote for opposition parties, which is the ultimate cause of the problem.

  10. introduce the End Qualified Immunity Act

    Everyone should vote for this just because he did not make up some silly title to force in a cutesy acronym.

    1. It could have been the Immediate Qualified Immunity Termination Act.

      IQUIT.

      1. Perfect for Amash.

    2. The “Finalizing the Unrealized Correction of Kindly Protecting Individuals for the Good of Society” Act

    3. EQIA

      Sounds like a diversity board

    4. You mean vote for EQUIA to restore equity between the police and the community?

  11. Qualified immunity gets some really bad actors off the hook, but it seems that public sector unions are the immediate problem in almost every case. The unions are compelled to represent every member faced with any sort of disciplinary measure and do so very effectively by using their political clout as well as arbitration to keep people who would have been fired in the private sector in their jobs. It is the ability to fund campaigns and to issue statements of support that give them the clout that unions in the private sector do not have. If say OCAW were to promise to give a corporate officer a lot of cash to use in a push to make him CEO in return for future wage and benefit increases both the union officials and the corporate guy would end up in prison. In the public sector the guy gets elected and the union members get the raises and benefits.
    Almost every police officer involved in unjustified violence has had a record that should have resulted in termination long before, but has been protected. If that protection is removed, most of these qualified immunity cases would have never happened.

    1. Amen and well written! Public-employee unions are a classic case of “special interests”, “regulatory capture”, and “concentrated benefits, diffuse costs” at work!

    2. The primary issue, here, is the union contracts that are negotiated and approved by various city councils around the country. In all the cities we’re talking about where there have been big riots, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, certainly, the city councils that approve these contracts have been 100% progressive for as long as anyone can remember. They’re single party states because the voters in those cities won’t vote for anyone who isn’t a Democrat (or to the left of Democrats).

      In a single party system, you can’t lose your seat because of the way you voted–unless the Democratic party itself decides to abandon you for some reason. In other words, it doesn’t matter how you vote as a politician, it only matters whether you’re endorsed by the Democratic party. Being endorsed by the Democratic party means being endorsed by the most powerful interests within that party, and in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis, that means being endorsed by the teachers unions, the government employees unions, and the law enforcement unions.

      This is why New York can’t pass a law to make recreational cannabis legal, not to mention why they can’t get a police contract that doesn’t protect police officers from accountability. California wouldn’t have legal cannabis for the same reason if it weren’t for the referendum process (a process New York doesn’t have). If it weren’t for the referendum process, the law enforcement unions in California would have shot it down there, too. The only wrinkle in California’s situation is that the growers and other medical cannabis workers started joining unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO, which also represents law enforcement through affiliated unions.

      Point being, single party systems, like those in our major cities, are run by the unions with interests in policy, like the law enforcement unions that require people on the city council to protect cops from accountability by contract. The ultimate solution is to break the single party system, and there is only one solution to that. Democracy works on the assumption that voters will vote for the opposition party and opposition candidates if the incumbents abuse the voters. If the voters won’t vote for anyone but a Democrat–no matter how mistreated they are by the Democratic party machine–then there isn’t anything a democracy can do about that.

      It’s like a battered spouse who keeps bailing her abusive husband out of jail, over and over again, and refuses to press charges. Other than try to persuade her to press charges and persuade her to stop bailing her abuser out of jail, I don’t know that there’s anything that can be done about that. If you can think of a great way to persuade the people of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis to start voting for Republicans, then that’s a solution. Anyone who thinks stripping law enforcement of their right to organize should consider the case of Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Did you think that was bad? That law the Scott Walker pushed in Wisconsin specifically excluded law enforcement because they knew that if they tried to do this to law enforcement, the reaction would be over the top outrage.

      1. If you can think of a great way to persuade the people of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis to start voting for Republicans, then that’s a solution.

        Have Trump send them another check?

        1. Does everything really need to be about Trump?

          Why can’t they vote to put Republicans on the city council because they aren’t in the pockets of the law enforcement unions?

          Chicago had a Republican Alderman on the city council. He’s since changed his political affiliation to “Independent”. When he was a Republican, I looked at all the people who endorsed him. He was endorsed by all the law enforcement unions . . .

          This means that although the Democrats had 49 out of 50 seats on the city council, the law enforcement unions were better represented on the city council than the Democrats–because the law enforcement unions had 50 our of 50 seats.

          The temptation is to violate the right of law enforcement to freedom of assembly (freedom of association) at the federal level, but violating people’s rights is always the temptation when people don’t vote the way we want them to vote.

          The solution is to persuade people to vote differently and based on different criteria. Demonizing those who vote for Republicans is a terrible thing to do. Maybe we should keep calling them out for that. It’s just one of the reasons why progressives are America’s most horrible people.

          1. I believe that public sector unions should either be dissolved and forbidden, or at least reduced to only being allowed to collectively bargain for compensation.

            They shouldn’t be involved in any discussions about government transparency or policies regarding discipline. They should not be politically active, endorsing or funding candidates or issues, etc.

            1. We can leave the unions in place; even pub-sec employees have the freedom to associate.
              We merely have to disallow the government agencies’ negotiations with any union at all; all employees are hired under ‘at will’ conditions.

              1. We merely have to disallow the government agencies’ negotiations with any union at all; all employees are hired under ‘at will’ conditions.

                Good idea. Can’t imagine it getting any support from Donkeys.

            2. I appreciate the sentiment, but people have a right to free speech and association, even when I don’t like them or what they have to say. The ultimate solution, again, isn’t to violate the rights of people we don’t like because we don’t like what they’re doing. The ultimate solution is to persuade our fellow Americans to stop voting for the Democrats who are fucking them in the ass–just because they’re Democrats.

              1. people have a right to free speech and association

                Only up to a point and when you’re working for government you’re – at least theoretically – working for the public and your employer is free to set working conditions on your employment. Under the Constitution, the government is granted certain powers, not rights, and I don’t think it would be at all unreasonable to expect that if you want to work for the government you’re no longer protected the same way ordinary citizens are protected by the Constitution.

                1. Because violating someone’s rights can be rationalized doesn’t mean it should be, and violating someone’s rights isn’t the solution to the problem of obstinate progressive voters.

                  Meanwhile, rationalizations for violating someone’s rights is the beginning of every anti-libertarian argument.

                  We have to throw people in jail for hiring illegal aliens to mow their lawns–at least until there are no more social services paid for by the taxpayers.

                  We have to keep marijuana and alcohol illegal at least until there are no more car accidents as a result of intoxicated drivers.

                  We have make it illegal to buy and carry firearms until there are no more armed robberies and no more mass shootings.

                  We have to violate the association rights of the police at least until the voters start voting in ways that makes sense.

                  I could list a hundred more.

                  All of these arguments are equally bad for the same reason. Here’s an example of a good argument: We need to insist on protecting the rights of people we don’t like to do things we don’t like because that is a necessary requirement for a free society.

                  1. Try going into work Monday and chatting with your colleagues about how great Trump is and handing out some campaign literature. If you work for the government, you’ll get your ass fired. (If you hand out Biden literature you’ll just get a stern warning and a finger-wagging but you’re still theoretically not supposed to be engaging in any partisan political behavior while you’re at work.) Citizens have rights, government has privileges. As long as the government is signing your paycheck, you’re the government.

              2. Do they also have the right to form cartels?

                Last I checked, that’s illegal.

                1. Unfortunately, Unions were explicitly exempted from the Sherman Anti-Trust act under the Clayton Anti-Trust act.

              3. I agree with you on the 1st Amendment rights and that voting for Democrats is suicidal, but then again, for many of us voting for the status quo has become akin to little more than self-immolation. With that in mind, if people stop voting for both Democrats and Republicans, you’d be just as pleased? How about a complete vote of ‘no confidence’ in the quickening race to the bottom?

                I also agree that standing up for our principles should be mighty uncomfortable, at times. But is it really ‘principled’ to delineate one’s own principles as nothing more than the inverse of whatever our opponents purport as their own ‘principles’ on any give day?

                Personally, I consider neither team to have many principles (besides ‘winning’ every few years and enriching themselves/consolidating party power), and when either ‘wins,’ it generally tastes more like ashes in my mouth. Either way, whether in a left-wing or wight-wing fashion, government power grows while liberty dwindles. Going beyond the empty rhetoric and lip-service most politicians pay toward liberty, that, economically speaking, the Republicans may support slightly more limited government 1 or 2% more than the Democrats isn’t exactly inspiring.

                1. “…Going beyond the empty rhetoric and lip-service most politicians pay toward liberty, that, economically speaking, the Republicans may support slightly more limited government 1 or 2% more than the Democrats isn’t exactly inspiring.”

                  I’ve voted R once in my life; a mayoral contest in SF. But if my vote counted, you can guarantee I’d vote for a positive 1-2% rather than a negative ditto.
                  Did you have a point other than proving you ‘don’t watch TV’?

                2. BTW, you were called on your bullshit claim up-thread. Wanna defend that claim, or are you on the list of ‘bullshittter-ignore’?

              4. Your mask fell off. How about instead of writing 3000 word essays that obfuscate and ultimately blame shift and indirectly advocate keeping the status quo because excuses, we just admit that no one of either major party ever caves to police unions because…wait for it… no one wants to be run over the coals and lose votes for being painted as “anti-cop” (which is now conflated with being unpatriotic or “anti American” or “supporting criminals.” That, far more than party (but nice essay I guess) is the actual reason.

        2. Sending checks seems to be what all of this is about.

          Go look at the Fortune 500, and see how many of those companies are begging you to notice that they’ve been donating to Black Lives MTter.

          1. Uber has dropped delivery fees for all black owned businesses.
            How do they know they’re black owned?
            No idea.
            Racist?
            Definitely

            1. How does that not violate numerous laws?

              Drop those fees for white owned businesses and they’d have courts stopping it already.

      2. You can ameliorate a good chunk of the problems (and not just limited to policing) through citizen committees (a proxy for ballot initiatives).

        Unfortunately, most citizen committees are essentially toothless, and beyond making some recommendations to later be ignored, just serve as archivist for police abuse (they could start releasing complaint records beyond what the unions say right now).

      3. If only we could have a democracy-based government that was not in the business of awarding benefits, contracts, and other patronage.

        1. We can have that, but we need better voters.

          Being a libertarian is all about trying to persuade our fellow Americans to have better desires.

          If we can’t get around what people want in a democracy, then we need to persuade them to want better.

          One of the many bad aspects of racism is that it makes people think that if one party isn’t in charge, freedom means they’ll all be subject to racism. Probably the most important thing to get across to people right now is that no one in the Republican party supports what the police did to George Floyd. Those police were universally condemned by all Republicans, and if the Democrats only had a narrow majority or were in the minority on the Minneapolis city council, the Republicans wouldn’t be any more supportive of racist murders by police than they are now. The only thing that would be different is that policy wouldn’t be dictated to city council members by the union. They would be one concern among two competing factions, and that concern would be balanced against other things like taxes and spending.

          It’s the same thing at the state level. Show me a state where the public employee pensions are outrageously high and unfunded, and I’ll show you a place where the there’s a single-party government and the police are probably unaccountable. That happens in the same places for the same reasons, and the solution is to persuade voters to stop voting for the same party that’s keeps shitting on them.

          1. And yet I haven’t seen a concerted effort by ANY Heffalumps to strongly, and as a group, condemn police violence. Whither Rand?

          2. “We can have that, but we need better voters.”

            Actually, Shikha has a solution for that.

          3. If one party dominance is the problem, it would stand to reason that in areas where Republicans run the show and police are still violating peoples’ rights, your solution would be for people to vote for Democrats or a third party, to break up the monopoly?

            What about those of us who are fairly certain BOTH parties simply enjoy shitting on us (when they concern themselves with our ‘well-being’ at all?) I perceive the only difference to be in the nature of the fecal stench – one from a constipated bowel stuffed with heartily engorged filet mignon and Bud Light; the other anemic and reeking of avocado toast and soyburgers. I think genuine fresh air would be a far more preferable solution.

            Oh, and I must have missed the universal condemnation of George Floyd’s homicide by Republicans. I read primarily conservative and libertarian publications, and witnessed countless Republican apparatchiks and general self-described Republican commentators engaging in sophomoric attempts at assassinating George Floyd’s character while falling all over themselves to excuse police actions.

            Now, if you meant ‘current Republican legislators,’ perhaps that’s a little bit more believable. Even so, talk is cheap. Let’s see how they actually follow up legislatively. My guess is, as politicians, they’ll put this pesky business behind them ASAP while spewing empty platitudes when absolutely necessary. They’ve had ample opportunities to reign in the police state, but have done essentially nothing (other than expand the surveillance state and restart the program that gives civilian cops discarded military materiel.)

            To most people, politician’s carefully calculated words are easily forgotten. It’s our interactions with the ‘unwashed masses’ of the party who we call our family and neighbors that really influence our perception of the Republican party. I see just as much authoritarianism and outright hatred spewing from them as anyone.

            I like your comment overall, though – especially what you said about our duty to persuade people to want better. Even if we have different ideas of what ‘better’ could be.

            1. I haven’t seen or read anybody defend the cops or bash Floyd’s character

              1. Is this the part where you pretend that you haven’t read anything on Breitbart?

            2. Let’s try this again in the, perhaps vain hope that VV is other than a bullshitter:
              BTW, you were called on your bullshit claim up-thread. Wanna defend that claim, or are you on the list of ‘bullshittter-ignore’?
              Put up or STFU.

            3. “Oh, and I must have missed the universal condemnation of George Floyd’s homicide by Republicans. I read primarily conservative and libertarian publications, and witnessed countless Republican apparatchiks and general self-described Republican commentators engaging in sophomoric attempts at assassinating George Floyd’s character while falling all over themselves to excuse police actions.”

              Link to an example.

              I dare you.

              1. I’ve seen some of it, Ken. Right-wing, especially ‘race realist’ blogs, and you’ve generally got to dig into the comments there. But what of it? Such views are hardly mainstream, and can easily find their counterparts not only in radical left circles, but in more widely read places. Or have you missed that whites are all supposed to kneel now, in acknowledgement of our systematic white privilege, and unconsciously held racist beliefs?

                For that poster’s first point, Floyd was a bad guy. Lengthy criminal record back in Texas, up to his last offense there, which involved sticking a weapon against a pregnant women’s belly while his friends were ransacking her dwelling. Passing counterfeit money in Minnesota while having fentanyl and meth in his system. That’s what we know. I wonder where he got the funny paper?

                Does that sound like a guy of good character to you? It still doesn’t excuse the cops’ behavior towards him. It definitely means he shouldn’t have died in their custody, if only because he should still be in prison in Texas. But it also leads to contempt to the oft-repeated reporting that Floyd was a ‘gentle giant’.

                Defending the cop’s behavior is done by ignorant people, of which there’s no shortage these days on social media. I’ve said repeatedly here that I’d like to see all four cops go to prison for their behavior, Chauvin obviously with a much stiffer sentence.

                1. “I’ve seen some of it, Ken. Right-wing, especially ‘race realist’ blogs, and you’ve generally got to dig into the comments there. “

                  The point wasn’t about racists and neo-nazi blogs. The point was about Republican politicians.

                  I haven’t seen any evidence that a Republican politician anywhere who has voiced support for the police who murdered George Floyd.

                  If these single-party cities run by Democrat political machines that have overseen the cops and their union contracts in these cities (like Minneapolis) since anyone can remember were suddenly run by Republican majorities instead, there is no reason to think they would be any more in favor of the police murdering black people than are now.

                  Republican politicians have universally condemned the cops who murdered George Floyd. Anyone who won’t vote against the Democrats who run these police departments for fear that Republicans support racist murder by the police are delusional–certainly if they’re using the murder of George Floyd as an example. There are a ton of people out there who imagine that because the Democrats are opposed to racist murders by the police, then the Republicans must be in favor, but that’s just stupid.

                  1. I misread then, sorry. No, I’ve not heard of any level of GOP politician bashing Floyd’s character or defending the cops. I haven’t looked terribly hard, but if the Twitterverse isn’t currently calling for the head of a GOP politician for that, it’s a good sign that it hasn’t happened.

                    Surprising. Maybe they’ve finally learned the stove is hot, and that they should stop touching it?

  12. QI doesn’t prevent criminal charges being brought against officers but they rarely are because the DAs and judges work to protect them. The system is rotten to the core.

  13. We can no longer claim that the criminal justice system in the United States is distinct or separate from the horrendous and dreadful historical systems that we point to when describing a terroristic regime (i.e., Germany’s system in the 1930s or Russia under Stalin). The totalitarian and fascist nature of America’s criminal justice system rivals those regimes daily and are perpetrated by everyone involved – the Police, the Prosecutors, the Judges, the Jailers and the Bureaucratic Fixtures who make this horrific hierarchy march along on a daily basis. The problem is systematic, it is methodical, and it is pathological. The system exists for one reason only: To perpetuate the system. And thus, every part of the system will continue to feed worthless citizen after worthless citizen into the machine as fodder for a fatter paycheck and a fortified future. There may be some who claim to be the “good ones” in the system. They are not. Simply by remaining a part of something so egregious and abominable they give their tacit approval to the trampling of and treading on person after person who dares come into contact with the monstrous organization that is the American Criminal Justice System.

    1. Sorry, but no, that’s hyperbole. It’s fine to point out the myriad issues we have with criminal justice in this country with invoking the Gestapo and the Stasi. If you think our police are just as bad as those, then you’re clearly underinformed and you need to do a lot more research.

      This is the big obstacle any discussion on police reform needs to overcome: adherence to the truth.

    2. “We can no longer claim that the criminal justice system in the United States is distinct or separate from the horrendous and dreadful historical systems that we point to when describing a terroristic regime (i.e., Germany’s system in the 1930s or Russia under Stalin)…”

      Either you’re trying to make a rhetorical claim, and failing by exaggeration, or you believe this and are simply ignorant of history.
      Either way, it makes the rest of your post worthless.

    3. We can no longer claim that the criminal justice system in the United States is distinct or separate from the horrendous and dreadful historical systems that we point to when describing a terroristic regime (i.e., Germany’s system in the 1930s or Russia under Stalin).

      That only goes to show how ignorant you are of actual police states. You’re utterly digusting.

      1. Yeah, like comparing X to slavery; it’s wrong *and* it trivializes the reality of slaves’ conditions and experiences.

    4. l systems that we point to when describing a terroristic regime (i.e., Germany’s system in the 1930s or Russia under Stalin)

      As Uncle Joe’s chief defender on this board I will say that this is a bit of a stretch. Uncle Joe had his moments in that he effectively ended European fascism for 60 or so years by killing a bunch of Nazi fuckheads, but it’s worth pointing out that he was a brutal dictator. Even Nixon, when he was carpet bombing North Vietnam didn’t come very close to Stalin’s goons. Just saying.

      1. “Even Nixon, when he was carpet bombing North Vietnam didn’t come very close to Stalin’s goons. Just saying.”

        Thanks for your honesty and sense of proportions, in this case at least! Not a socialist myself here, but I, unlike too many people on this web site posting forum, do appreciate diverse perspectives…

        (Diverse perspectives being something different than empty-headed trolling).

    5. I don’t know…the American police state certainly relies on a lot of ‘just following orders’, but things haven’t quite reached the point of outright tyranny just yet. It does do a disservice to the actual millions of victims of authoritarian regimes. Still, you’re right to be very worried and it’s good you see the potential terminal slide into tyranny looming ever closer, but our modern police methods aren’t really comparable with the Gestapo.

      You’re more on point with the Stasi, at least from the standpoint of modus operandi. Indeed, the surveillance agencies (NSA, et al.) have capabilities the Stasi would’ve drooled over. And while government secrecy has grown grotesquely, the laws allegedly ‘reigning them in’ have been continually chipped away – especially on the federal level, and it’s probably only a matter of time before they’re horribly abused, like Senator Frank Church warned us of, back in the 1970s:

      In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. These messages are between ships at sea, they could be between units, military units in the field. We have a very extensive capability of intercepting messages wherever they may be in the airwaves. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

      If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology

      …I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return

      1. Relevant to all (or some, at least) of your points…

        https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/06/06/the-guardrails-are-off-the-us-military-303959
        The Guardrails Are Off the U.S. Military
        It’s no longer guaranteed that the Pentagon will resist unlawful orders from the president. And the rot is deeper than you think.

      2. Once more:
        Let’s try this again in the, perhaps vain hope that VV is other than a bullshitter:
        BTW, you were called on your bullshit claim up-thread. Wanna defend that claim, or are you on the list of ‘bullshittter-ignore’?
        Put up or STFU.

  14. The insidious legal doctrine allows police officers to violate your civil rights with absolute impunity if those rights have not been spelled out with near-identical precision in preexisting case law.

    That is plainly wrong.

    And while I certainly think that qualified immunity should be eliminated in its current form, Justin Amash is not the guy to lead such an effort; that requires negotiation, compromise, and diplomacy, all abilities that Amash seems to lack.

    Someone will reform qualified immunity; it won’t be Amash.

  15. Remember the restaurant owner who got shot in Louisville when the police didn’t have body cameras on? Just in case people missed it, surveillance video captures him very clearly holding a gun and pointing it at cops, and he almost certainly did fire at them. He was shot to death when officers returned fire.

    What I see as the bigger issue is that this all happened because the police were enforcing the curfew. They weren’t dispersing a crowd of rioters, they were breaking up a gathering of people who were defying the curfew by hanging out at a restaurant. It’s the same thing as the drug war-if you’re passing this edict, you’re saying the police are going to violently confront people to enforce it.

    1. I did not see that, but it makes me wonder WIH the cops did not have their cameras on.
      Agreed otherwise; people are fed up with being told what to do and when to do it. The contributions of the lock-down are being swept under the nearest rug.

      1. Here’s some raw video just to support the claim that he was armed and probably opened fire. Obvious content warning:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmA31VwxeIY

        1. I watched the video. I can’t tell if he’s armed and shooting at the cops or just pointing and yelling. I don’t think it clears much up. At all.

          1. Cops with functioning cameras would be a big help.

          2. You can see if you pause at the 44 second mark that he’s wearing a holster. At some point the gun comes out and is pointed out toward the cops. And when he comes back in after being shot, he drops the gun from his right hand.

            The resolution isn’t great, and you can’t see him in the exterior shot, but it does seem to be the sequence of events. I can’t say for sure that he was shooting, but some bystanders (non-cops) said he did. I can’t be sure that he did shoot but I feel confident he at least waved the gun at them.

  16. Rep. Justin Amash Wants To End Qualified Immunity. Where Are the Republicans?

    They’re somewhere between the entry point of Dear Leader’s butthole (is there a medical name for this part of the anatomy, BTW?) and his sphincter. You’re sure to find them there, Billy!

    1. “…(is there a medical name for this part of the anatomy, BTW?)…”

      Yeah, the technical term is “American Socialist”; most all butt holes are named that.

      1. Oh look it’s the chief GOP arse-spelunking specialist. Where was Rand Paul anyway? Somewhere next to Dear Leader’s impacted turd where he could give it a big heave?

        Tell us more about how The party of GWB, McCain, Romney and Trump we’re really really great after all.

        1. Rand Paul was in the Senate, you brainlet. You know, the other chamber of Congress, which doesn’t sign on to House bills.

        2. Where was Rand Paul anyway?

          And AmSoc outs himself as a retard yet again. Paul is a senator, Amash is a representative.

          I noticed you sure like talking about poop too. Perhaps you should join Sqrlsy for dinner.

          1. Be polite. You may want to ask him about the Cuban government someday.

        3. “Oh look it’s the chief GOP arse-spelunking specialist.”

          Oh, look! It’s “Dear Leader’s” asshole posting lies again!
          How…………………..
          pathetic.

  17. I wonder what Jo Jorgensen, a Presidential candidate, has to say about QI?

    1. That’s a good question. If nothing else maybe Jo could pivot to answering about something our spoiler votes have a better chance of changing. It is odd to have a libertarian press that focuses almost entirely on looters–nevermind that they currently outnumber us 20 to 1. Eight years ago they outnumbered us 99-to-1, remember?

  18. For fucks sake binion

    Link to the actual fucking bill – not some fucking tweet – not some NYT/WaPo/Reason story about the bill. Didn’t you fucking journalists ever even learn how to cite sources in school?

    F for sheer fucking laziness

    1. Did your mommy say it was safe to go outside today, you cowardly piece of lefty shit?

      1. He’s actually got a point, though.

        1. Blind squirrels, and he wouldn’t be here if there was a chance of catching a cold.

      2. He may be a shitty lefty, but he’s dead right that Binion is a lazy hack who never cites properly.

        I couldn’t find a pdf of the bill, but Amash posted screen shots https://twitter.com/justinamash/status/1268606685368770563

        1. He can post screenshots, but thomas.gov is claiming they’ve not received the full text of the bill. Which is H.R. 7085. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/7085/text?r=1&s=1

          So, it’s a publicity stunt.

          1. “thomas.gov not received the full text of the bill = a publicity stunt”

            Fuck, what is it with that guy.

            1. So Binion is arguing that Republicans are bad because they haven’t signed on to a Bill which hasn’t even really been submitted.

              Is he being retarded or dishonest?

  19. Ending QI is a necessary treatment for not only police abuse but a much more general petty tyranny perpetrated by government employees insulated by it. Civil suits are, though, very slow difficult and costly and their remedies of a judgement and some cash, if the harmed party can ever collect it, are better than nothing but inadequate to the instant death and maiming too many Americans suffer from rampant abuse by police. Some prophylaxes are required, too:

    – Reduce laws, and thus police, to reduce citizen and police interaction.
    – Make it illegal to rehire or hire in another locale police with abusive or mental health issue pasts or to apply for police or security work with that past.
    – Tightly limit police weapons by both what and when they are available and make their instances of access and use public records.
    – Create and deploy fully independent citizens rights officers to serve as checks on and to promptly discipline police. The military does similar with JAG officers and abuses there seem to be once a decade oddities, rather than the constant abuses by unaccountable police.

  20. I’d like to see the bill, devil in details, that kind of thing. I remember Rand Paul stating the other day that the “anti-lynching” bill would throw anyone in jail for 10 years who intentionally or unintentionally bruised or paper cut a black or brown person.

    Details please.

    And, oh yeah, democrats have run these cities for decades, including a city that bombed an entire city block and killed children (Philly)…BUT TRUMP, REPUBLICANS. By all means, blame your impotent urbanist identity politics socialist local gov’ts on republicans.

    1. “I remember Rand Paul stating the other day that the “anti-lynching” bill would throw anyone in jail for 10 years who intentionally or unintentionally bruised or paper cut a black or brown person.”

      If we do not clear the obscuring smoke of race from of this, we are going to make the problem worse.

      The problem is government abusing citizens, we mustn’t give it / them even more cudgels to wield against us.

      “Very nearly everything the state does is either vicious or foolish, which is why the state so often appears as a cudgel wielded by clowns.” ~ Aaron Ross Powell

      1. I like the metaphor of the gorilla with the machine gun, but that one is good too 😀

  21. I’m all in for eliminating Qualified Immunity, but also believe that filing a bogus lawsuit should warrant a penalty or fee.

    1. Why do you hate poor people, Uomo?

      (I agree with you. Though it’ll take some restructuring of legal ethics, at least.)

  22. “Shielding the police from accountability at all costs does not advance freedom.”

    Curious that Amash only wants to hold police accountable, and not lawmakers, judges, prosecutors, and #DeepState regulators.

    If the FDA prevents you from purchasing medicine which might have helped you, you should be able to sue the regulators involved *personally*, and they should be prosecuted for any harm that comes to you.

    1. Judges and prosecutors have absolute immunity. Not qualified immunity. There’s been some hilarity where a prosecutor got caught doing some unquestionably bad conduct, like taking bribes, yet claimed prosecutorial immunity from some of the fallout. A decent explanation of the limits of a prosecutor’s immunity may be found here: http://www.section1983blog.com/2009/09/brief-summary-of-prosecutorial-immunity.html

      I’m also not sure whether one branch of government can yank immunity from another branch of government. That would seem to cause some separation of powers issues.

      1. Interesting, I would support eliminating immunity for ALL people including judges, prosecutors, politicians. The laws should apply equally to everyone.

        I also feel that there should be penalties (both plaintiff and lawyer) for filing a bogus lawsuit. Losing a lawsuit would not necessarily equate to being bogus. A lawsuit would be ruled as being bogus when it is so thin and transparent that the jury determined it to be frivolous. Penalties would be determined based on just how frivolous and bogus they are.

  23. Republicans aren’t conservatives. They’re authoritarians who will blow up the budget just like the guys with d next to their name will. So how’s the lesser of two evils working out?

    1. Better than the alternative. See what Trump proposed and what Pelosi jammed through congress? Or was that hidden, since your head was up your ass?
      Unless you have a better solution, I’d suggest you save being beat upon by STFU and get lost,

      1. Nice as hominem attack buddy

      2. How about explaining why we haven’t had a balanced budget when team r had Congress and the white house?

  24. First off, as a duck, Amash has quite effectively lamed himself, so there’s that keeping anybody else from signing on.

    Second, as we’ve proven, the chimera of party tension — like the chimera of “competing independent branches of government” tension — immediately disappears when the question becomes ruling class vs. non-ruling class… as we saw when all branches passed and approved Obamacare, while similarly declaring themselves “small businesses” so they didn’t have to use it.

    Q: Is the ruling class ever going to voluntarily surrender any loophole that prevents their own punishment?
    A: No.

    If QI is beaten, it will only be beaten by a “long (and incremental) march through the judiciary,” as the Institute for Justice has already begun.

    1. “If QI is beaten, it will only be beaten by a “long (and incremental) march through the judiciary,” as the Institute for Justice has already begun…”

      I assume you’re a contributor and get regular updates? My occasional frustration at IJ’s progress is balanced by explanations from various folks within IJ pointing out that they are selecting the cases well, and making sure they WIN! Which makes the next case easier…
      It’s still a concern that they’ve yet to take up a ‘lockdown/constitution’ case, but…
      The gal running a salon in Vacaville, CA might have been a good one, but Newsom caved (maybe he reads IJ results, and knows it would not help his POTUS desire to lose to them).

      1. They get a substantial contribution from me each year. They may grind slowly, but they have a win/lose ratio that no other libertarian institution can match.

  25. Lookslike its time for Moving to Batley than stucking being in racists.

  26. Republicans are not libertarians, and they are not the party of freedom. Republicans want fiscal freedom but that is about it. But they also want to be the party or moral values, and imposing your moral values on others is not freedom. The Republicans also want to be the party of law and order, and to often support the bad actors in the police. At best their are some “libertarian leaning” Republicans.

  27. QI should be abolished, but it should be a defense that case law either said the police conduct was allowed or where case law was contradictory. It would not be right to punish a police officer for committing an act the courts said he could commit or where the courts contradicted each other on the matter.

    Even where this defense was successful, the government that police officer serves should still be liable if the police officer’s act is held to be illegal. This would balance the rights of people interacting with police with the interests of police officers who act in good faith.

  28. It’s a pretty simple reason why no Republican has co-sponsored. The bill is from Amash, who Trump hates.

    Sycophancy to Tump is far more important than policy.

    Don’t worry, once Trump loses you will see the Small Government Republicans awaken from the dead to go against every Biden proposal. To hell with them.

    1. You are far more familiar with stupidity than Republicans are to sycophancy to Trump. You spew nonsense that in unsupportable with fact.

  29. Qualified Immunity was instituted by a progressive Supreme Court over a decade ago. It was fine when it did what progressives wanted it to do. Now they pretend they knew nothing about it. It’s not the Republicans, it’s you.

  30. I read more comments. thank you all

  31. 1. Law enforcement is a Republican constituency. Public police unions are the only unions the GOP embraces. You know, because “heroes”.

    2. Amash’s name is mud among House Republicans. No one wants to be associated with the guy who broke ranks in support of Trump’s impeachment.

  32. Where are the Republicans?

    Hiding in big daddy’s pockets.

  33. What does the libertarian candidate have to say? Reason seems to only want to cover Justin Amash.

    1. Good question, and Jo would probably come up with a better answer than the Kleptocracy. But her running mate can be counted on to say to legalize murder and let competing “free” market coercive lynch mobs settle the issue. Thanks for asking.

  34. Um, Mr Sullum might look at the God’s Own Prohibitionist political platform. The thing is DEDICATED to the armed and jackbooted minions of the force-initiating Kleptocracy’s captive political state. Infiltrating the LP ticket with a mindless anarchist guarantees the voting public will NOW prefer the demented violence they already know. Far better for Reason to register as a bookie and cover bets on these outcomes. That will at least generate revenue.

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