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Supreme Court declines to weigh in on legal doctrine that shields law enforcement

June 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The Supreme Court declined on Monday to take a closer look at a legal doctrine it created nearly 40 years ago that critics say is shielding law enforcement and government officials from accountability.

Washington (CNN)The Supreme Court declined on Monday to take a closer look at a legal doctrine it created nearly 40 years ago that critics say is shielding law enforcement and government officials from accountability.

The death has sparked nationwide protests pushing for more police accountability and reform.

In recent years, legal scholars, judges and justices on all sides of the ideological spectrum have criticized the legal doctrine known as "qualified immunity," arguing that it is not grounded in the proper legal authorities and it too often shields officials from accountability.

Under the doctrine, an officer will not be liable even if he violated the Constitution unless it was "clearly established" by prior cases that his conduct was unconstitutional.

In some cases with unique fact patterns, of which there are many, officers have been granted immunity even if they have been found to have acted in violation of the Constitution.

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