•  
  •  
 

Authors

Gary S. Gildin

Abstract

Qualified immunity not only absolves public officials from accountability for the damages caused when they deprive a citizen of their constitutional rights; by virtue of companion doctrines shielding governmental entities from liability, conferral of immunity leaves the victim to bear the loss. Therefore, it is essential that the contours of immunity be carefully calibrated to align with its intended purposes.

The United States Supreme Court has continuously expanded immunity to protect the exercise of discretion where, albeit acting in violation of constitutional norms, the official could have reasonably believed their conduct was constitutional. This Article exposes the implicit assumptions as to the operation of the brain that underpin the evolution of the Court’s immunity jurisprudence. It then explains how the Court’s suppositions are refuted by recent findings in the field of neuroscience and proposes reforms that would harmonize immunity with the true workings of the minds of government officials.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.