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Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire Deputy State Director Ross Connolly writes in a new op-ed in the Union Leader that the state legislature missed an opportunity to increase accountability for government officials by failing to pass legislation that would have ended qualified immunity.
Qualified immunity is a ”court-created doctrine that shields government officials, including police officers, from legal accountability in civil court even when they violate the constitutional rights of ordinary citizens,” Connolly writes.
It’s about much more than policing. It’s about holding every unelected official and state agency accountable when they violate a citizen’s civil rights.
As Connolly noted: “We owe it to all of those who have been the victims of a constitutional violation by government officials — and to the many good public servants caught in the middle — to fix this broken system. By holding public employees and their employers accountable, we renew trust in our institutions and empower the vast majority of government workers, including police, who are serving our state admirably.”
That kind of accountability has a special resonance in the Live Free or Die State, which has an executive council to provide a check on the executive power of the governor, as well as one of the largest legislatures in the world.
Read more here about how the measure would have brought much-needed accountability to police departments and every government agency in New Hampshire, and how Americans for Prosperity will be back again next year, working to reverse the legislature’s verdict.