I see a worldwide contest between the politics/economics of division and of species level cohesion. While divisiveness is rooted in reptile brain instinct, species cohesion will be necessary to rise to global challenges such as the pandemic and Climate Destabilization. Corporate entities and entrenched systems of corruption/exploitation complicate it all. Where is a voice, during this period of rapid change, presenting a clear message clarifying how we’re experiencing a tipping point for species survival?
As I see it, a critical element is needing to hold individuals and institutions accountable, especially at the highest levels of power. Few notice that increasing excessive police force has been nurtured by the Supreme Court, not just the Fascist wannabe in the Oval Office.
In 1967,... the Supreme Court first articulated a notion of “qualified immunity.” In the case of police violence against a group of civil rights demonstrators in Mississippi, the court decided that police officers should not face legal liability for enforcing the law “in good faith and with probable cause.”
That’s a high standard to meet. But what makes these cases nearly impossible for plaintiffs to win is the court’s requirement that any violation of rights be “clearly established” — that is, another court must have previously encountered a case with the same context and facts, and found there that the officer was not immune. This is a judge-made rule; the civil rights law itself says nothing about a “clearly established” requirement. Yet in practice it has meant that police officers prevail virtually every time, because it’s very hard to find cases that are the same in all respects. It also creates a Catch-22 for plaintiffs, who are required to hunt down precedents in courts that have stopped generating those precedents, because the plaintiffs always lose. As one conservative judge put it in a U.S. district court in Texas, “Heads defendants win, tails plaintiffs lose.”
...the civil rights law itself says nothing about a “clearly established” requirement. Yet in practice it has meant that police officers prevail virtually every time...
Outrageous, disgusting, and horrific!
So would updated legislation (when Republicans aren't in power) fix this? Or do we have to wait for the Supreme Court to reverse itself?
All the more reason to enlarge the Supreme Court (the size is set by statute; there's no magic number 9 in the Constitution) once Democrats regain the Senate and the White House!