Filed for future use

If we get to the point where we are prosecuting politicians and law enforcement for violation of our civil rights questions like this will need to be answered:

I haven’t researched it, but I wonder how this plays out in the setting of a criminal prosecution of a government actor for deprivation of civil rights. Is ignorance of the Constitution no defense, because it’s a criminal case, or is reasonable failure to appreciate there was a constitutional right being violated a defense because of qualified immunity?

3 thoughts on “Filed for future use

  1. Qualified immunity is a concept with a rather shaky constitutional foundation; Congress has it in a very limited way but no one else does as far as the Constitution is concerned.
    In any case, government officials are required to swear an oath specifically to uphold and defend the Constitution. Given that, failure to do so is not just a crime under the conspiracy to infringe statutes, but also quite obviously a case of perjury. Given that everything starts with the oath, any attempts to weasel out would be hard to take seriously. It’s a bit like an M.D. pretending he didn’t know about “first, do no harm”.

    • Also, remember that the Constitution is only about 4,400 words, and is written in plain language. The Bill of Rights is only 475 words, also in plain language. They can be fully read and understood in an hour. An evening at the most.

      Therefore, I can find no excuse – zero, none – that someone running for office or training to be a police officer hasn’t found the time to peruse the operating instructions for our Republic.

      Got Constitutional questions? RTFM.

      • Plain language, indeed. Or as Jefferson put it:
        “Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should therefore be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense; and their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure”

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