Shaniz’s case is part of the Institute for Justice’s new Project on Immunity and Accountability. The project is devoted to the simple idea that government officials are not above the law; if citizens must follow the law, then government must follow the Constitution.
But a set of legal doctrines makes it nearly impossible for ordinary Americans to hold the government accountable in court when government officials violate our Constitutional rights. These doctrines give law enforcement officers and other government officials near complete immunity from being held accountable for their actions, no matter how egregious.
This is wrong. The Constitution is not an empty promise. It is a promise meant to be kept—and those who take an oath to uphold the Constitution should be required to keep it. And if they don’t, they should be held accountable for their actions.
To that end, IJ is dedicated to knocking down barriers to the enforcement of our nation’s most fundamental law. The Constitution’s protections for private property, free speech, economic liberty, and other rights are only meaningful if they are enforceable.