8th Circ. Ruling Further Narrows Qualified Immunity
Litigation attorney Thomas Eastmond published an article in Law360 analyzing a recent ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that concerned qualified immunity. This doctrine has seen increased scrutiny in the past year, and a November 2020 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court seemed to signal a shift toward a narrower intepretation of it. However, the two-page decision provided few details as to just how narrow that interpretation could be. The Eighth Circuit's opinion helped answer some questions by suggesting that qualified immunity may be harder to argue when officials have ample time to make "calculated choices" to enforce certain policies. In this article, Mr. Eastmond summarizes case law in this area before breaking down the court's decision and discussing its implications.