The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) today joined an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the doctrine of qualified immunity, which shields government agents from liability for misconduct. The brief was submitted in the case I.B. and Doe v. Woodard, which challenges the warrantless strip search of a 4-year old child.
Coordinated by the Cato Institute, the brief was also joined by the ACLU, Alliance Defending Freedom, American Association for Justice, Americans for Prosperity, Due Process Institute, Institute for Justice, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, MacArthur Justice Center, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Public Justice, R Street Institute, Reason, and the Second Amendment Foundation. The diverse collection of organizations across the ideological spectrum share a common interest in advancing sensible police accountability.
Last May, LDF petitioned the Supreme Court to review a case in which the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals granted qualified immunity and relieved Alabama police officers from facing trial on a claim of excessive force after tasing to death an unarmed Black man while he was on the ground and being handcuffed. This term, LDF has also asked the Court to take up the question of whether police officers are constitutionally obligated to help a person injured during arrest. This petition arose from the case of Jason White, a decorated veteran who was killed by two police officers in 2013 during a mental health crisis triggered by his service in Iraq. Both officers were trained as first responders, but after shooting Mr. White multiple times, neither tried to help him and Mr. White bled to death.
Read the amicus brief here.
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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.