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Qualified Immunity. Back the Blue Bill Gottcha

And ooooh, boy.  It’s a doozy.   A big shot of truth serum is desperately needed because it doesn’t say what you THINK it says.

The recurring theme in legislative newsletters regarding SF 342 was the mention of qualified immunity being such a grand scheme especially for law enforcement in protection from lawsuits.  Bill link: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=SF342

Do you want to know the truth about qualified immunity?  Or are you content to be selectively spoon-fed the heavily frosted illusory cake of prejudice? It might be pretty on the outside, but it’s quite foul tasting on the inside. Some will become quite sick when forced to eat it.  For others, it will become deadly.

There is so much info to share about this very unconstitutional piece of legislation.  Info and validating research that has been shared with all 150 legislators and the governor.

Let’s get a bit of history about how the U.S. Supreme Court created this doctrine with their overactive imaginings. Here are some links for your own research to read the truth for yourself.  It light bulb of truth moment reading.

Keep in mind, all 150 legislators had this kind of info in hand prior to any debate, along with several emails with other points.  Not a single one can claim they did not know that what they were doing was unconstitutional.

The claim of having consulted with several lawyers and the Attorney General, shows they didn’t have a clue either.   Or, they purposed to ignore.

https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=13555&context=journal_articles

https://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/qualified-immunity.aspx

https://www.cato.org/qualified-immunity

https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-qualified-immunity-and-what-does-it-have-do-police-reform

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/publications/insights-on-law-and-society/volume-21/issue-1/qualified-immunity/

https://theappeal.org/the-lab/explainers/qualified-immunity-explained/

https://eji.org/issues/qualified-immunity/

The recurring facts of all these links:  The doozy of the gotcha is the ‘clearly established.”

The Civil Rights Act of 1871 did hold law enforcement and public officials personally accountable for their actions outside of the law violating a person’s constitutional rights.  It has never been rescinded by Congress and is STILL in effect today.

In 1967,  The U.S. Supreme court dreamed up qualified immunity under the guise of ‘acting in good faith’.  In 1982 it was expanded into the full-blown special protection of law enforcement and public officials by throwing in the term ‘clearly established’.

“The Supreme Court invented qualified immunity in 1967, describing it as a modest exception for public officials who had acted in “good faith” and believed that their conduct was authorized by law. Fifteen years later, in Harlow v. Fitzgerald, the Court drastically expanded the defense. The protection afforded to public officials would no longer turn on whether the official acted in “good faith.” Instead, even officials who violate peoples’ rights maliciously will be immune unless the victim can show that his or her right was “clearly established.” Since the Harlow decision, the Court has made it exceedingly difficult for victims to satisfy this standard. To show that the law is “clearly established,” the Court has said, a victim must point to a previously decided case that involves the same “specific context” and “particular conduct.” Unless the victim can point to a judicial decision that happened to involve the same context and conduct, the officer will be shielded from liability.”   Reference: https://theappeal.org/the-lab/explainers/qualified-immunity-explained/https://theappeal.org/the-lab/explainers/qualified-immunity-explained/

BUT, according to Rep. Jared Klein, the bill’s House floor manager,  there needs to be “special laws for special jobs”.  Hmmm. Is he reading from his own made-up constitution?  Rep. Klein, along with others claimed law enforcement needs protection from lawsuits when acting within the law and the scope of their duties.   Ummmm, if they are doing so, then why do they need special protection to begin with as lawsuits would be thrown out?   And, don’t the cities, counties, state normally pick up that tab if a lawsuit is successful?

Anyone remember their civics lessons?  About the three branches of government and their Constitutionally delegated powers?   The judicial branch CANNOT make law.  Period. So, when legislators claim that this brings Iowa law into mirroring federal law, it is a LIE.  NO such federal law exists.  Congress has NEVER passed such a law.

During the debate on HJR 5, the Life Amendment debate on May 18, 2021,  Rep.  Salmon – “… judges don’t make laws….”   Rep.  Brown Powers – “manipulate the Constitution for special interests…”   Qualified immunity IS special interest.

So why the stark contrast between SF 342 and HJR 5?

This is a dangerous part of the bill. Not only for the general public, but for any person involved in animal production, breeding, ownership.  Sen. Dennis Guth told me that staff didn’t believe it would have any impact. But it does.  Due to my experiences of being involved in varying degrees of information gathering, sitting in on trials of falsely accused victims, it is truly dangerous.  Until you know the details of how victims are abused with false accusations, served with faulty warrants, falsely detained under threats, lying promises, bullying, intimidation, even physical assault, judges in cahoots, judges heavily influenced by social media, law enforcement lying on the witness stand (veterinarians included), one has no idea the depth of destruction false accusations incur. Children terrorized as parents are arrested, PTSD and psychological damage is quite common, making counseling necessary.  The resulting physical inflictions and mental issues of profound stress, some to the point of suicide as their life’s blood, sweat, tears, sacrifices were destroyed by lies, is a horrible price innocents have to pay because of a warped ideology.

An ideology that does not hesitate to trespass, stage, edit videos to sway public opinion and the judicial system, using various media outlets.  Ask Sen. Ken Rozenboom how media refuses to publish both sides of the story. https://theiowastandard.com/sen-rozenboom-blasts-des-moines-register-california-based-activist-group-executing-professional-hit-job/?fbclid=IwAR2qcua2xCjoCpCiZMWBJ4U_lEs4W9inwJUX56Y_L53CCyfUMT5xp7xfte0  An ideology that prides itself on ego-stroking of self-righteousness and moral superiority.

I would be remiss as an Iowa citizen and an American if I chose to remain silent about how both the US. and State Constitutions and Iowa law were stomped on and tossed out the window with this bill. There is so much more to be said about this bill with the questionable tactics used to shove it through at warp speed, but will let these key points speak for themselves.

I give huge kudos to Rep. Jeff Shipley and Rep. Brian Lohse for their courage to stand firm honoring their oath of office to uphold the constitutions with their no vote on this bill.  The only two Republicans, both chambers, to do so.

It is now time for Gov. Kim Reynolds to employ her power of line-item veto using her artistic talents of drawing the straightest of lines through pages 10, Division 3   Qualified Immunity through page 12  Section 16, of SF 342.

So, please, by all means, you are welcome to refute any of the above.  One caveat, you must use valid references to the law and both Constitutions.  Opinions are just that and do not count as facts.  That same invite was extended to each legislator.  So far chirp, chirp, chirp.

I will close with these quotes by Rep. Klein,  “actions speak louder than any words.”

And regarding the questionable tactics, as cautioned by Rep. Mary Wolfe, of ignoring Iowa Code 2.56, in his closing remarks:

“The law is the law and it should be enforced.”  “..if discretion of the laws of the state….whether a major piece of legislation or minor, then what the heck are we doing here?”

So Rep. Klein, what the heck are you doing there???

  • Betsy Fickel