Sunday, March 31, 2013

A blow against official abuse

Finally, the SCOTUS unanimously rules that the law means what the law means.  Government officials can no longer hide behind immunity when they violate your rights.

Synopsis:  a prisoner was abused.  The Third Circuit ruled that the government officials had immunity.  In 1974 Congress passed a law giving the people more right to sue (28 U.S.C. § 2680(h)).  Circuit courts have been chipping away at this right ever since, and especially since 1986 (Pooler vs United States), according to the commentary linked below.  Once the Circuit Court ruled in Pooler, that became binding precedent for many courts, even though it was a poor decison (stare decisis is the legal term for the requirement to follow precedent).

In this era of militarized police forces and SWAT teams, perhaps this ruling will cause local police departments to rethink how they conduct their business.  There are far to many recent cases of invasive tactics by police which result in the deaths and humiliation of citizens who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Perhaps this ruling is what we needed to turn back the clock just a little.

Original link from Overlawyered.

No comments: