Reps. Pressley, Amash Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to End Qualified Immunity

June 4, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Congressman Justin Amash (L-MI)introduced the Ending Qualified Immunity Act to eliminate qualified immunity and restore Americans' ability to obtain relief when state and local officials, including police officers, violate their legal and constitutionally secured rights.

They were joined by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mark Takano (D-CA), André Carson (D-IN), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA) as original cosponsors.

“Qualified immunity shields police from accountability, impedes true justice, and undermines the constitutional rights of every person in this country,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “There can be no justice without healing and accountability, and there can be no true accountability with qualified immunity. It’s past time to end qualified immunity, and that’s exactly what this bill does.”

“Qualified immunity protects police and other officials from consequences even for horrific rights abuses,” said Congressman Amash. “It prevents accountability for the ‘bad apples’ and undermines the public’s faith in law enforcement. It’s at odds with the text of the law and the intent of Congress, and it ultimately leaves Americans’ rights without appropriate protection. Members of Congress have a duty to ensure government officials can be held accountable for violating Americans’ rights, and ending qualified immunity is a crucial part of that.”

The bill is endorsed by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, ACLU of Massachusetts, Arab American Institute, Constitutional Accountability Center, Due Process Institute, Lawyers for Civil Rights,  National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Urban League, Republican Liberty Caucus, The Justice Collaborative, and Young Americans for Liberty, among other civil society groups.

The full text of the bill can be found here and a one-pager can be found here.

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