This Essay explores whether formalism and accountability are compatible lodestars as we steer toward a new future for qualified immunity. Ultimately, I argue that two existing proposals would bring the doctrine closer to its text and history, mitigate against fragmentation in the law of constitutional torts, and narrow the rights-remedies gap when government officials violate the Constitution. One proposal, by John Jeffries, would create a fault-based system, where government officials and entities alike would be liable for constitutional violations that are both unreasonable and unconstitutional. Another proposal would render governmental employers’ liable for the acts of their agents.
Fred O. Smith Jr.,
Formalism, Ferguson, and the Future of Qualified Immunity,
Notre Dame L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndlr/vol93/iss5/10