Opinions Relating to Orders - 2020

Hoggard v. Rhodes

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. Statement of JUSTICE THOMAS respecting the denial of certiorari. As I have noted before, our qualified immunity jurisprudence stands on shaky ground. Ziglar v. Abbasi, 582 U. S. , (2017) (opinion concurring in part and concurring in judgment); Baxter v. Bracey, 590 U. S. _ (2020) (opinion dissenting from denial of certiorari). Under this Court’s precedent, executive officers who violate federal law are immune from money damages suits brought under Rev. Stat. §1979, 42 U. S. C. §1983, unless their conduct violates a “clearly established statutory or constitutional righ[t] of which a reasonable person would have known.” Mullenix v. Luna, 577 U. S. 7, 11 (2015) (per curiam) (internal quotation marks omitted). But this test cannot be located in §1983’s text and may have little basis in history. Baxter, 590 U. S., at , (slip op., at 2, 4) (opinion of THOMAS, J.). Aside from these problems, the one-size-fits-all doctrine is also an odd fit for many cases because the same test applies to officers who exercise a wide range of responsibilities and functions.