6/19/20 Mike Maharrey: End Qualified Immunity for Cops

by | Jun 20, 2020

Mike Maharrey untangles the complex web of legal history that has given America the system known as qualified immunity, which in practice shields police officers from just about any civil lawsuit. The doctrine, which has emerged out of the precedents set by repeated federal court rulings, makes it almost impossible to sue state agents for constitutional violations or other damages suffered during the performance of their jobs. This is mainly because the courts have decided that unless there is specific precedent for the situation the officer finds himself in, discretion must be left up to the officer. In the prominent cases this has meant that if a cop shoots a civilian, as long as other cops say that the shooting was reasonable at the time, the officer will walk free. Maharrey calls for a system that doesn’t rely so much on strict interpretation of specific legal precedent, but instead can allow a judge and jury to use some common sense in adjudicating each situation, the way common law systems operated prior to the founding of the United States. However qualified immunity comes to an end, Scott and Maharrey agree that it is the most important first step in creating a more just police system.

Discussed on the show:

Mike Maharrey is National Communications Coordinator for the Tenth Amendment Center. He is the author of three books on nullification and hosts the Thoughts from Maharrey Head podcast. Find him on Twitter @mmaharrey10th.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.

Donate to the show through Patreon, PayPal, or Bitcoin: 1KGye7S3pk7XXJT6TzrbFephGDbdhYznTa.

The following is an automatically generated transcript.

About Scott Horton

Scott Horton is director of the Libertarian Institute, editorial director of Antiwar.com, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from ScottHorton.org. He’s the author of the 2017 book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan and editor of The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019. He’s conducted more than 5,000 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrovna Horton. He is a fan of, but no relation to the lawyer from Harper’s. Scott’s Twitter, YouTube, Patreon.

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