Short Circuit 238 | Dude, Where’s My Passport?
If a doctor says a prisoner needs to take his medication, and you’re a prison guard, you should give the prisoner his medication. A number of prison officials in Utah seem to have failed to do this for someone in detox, leading to his death. Does that violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments? Yes, said the Tenth Circuit, and the right is clearly established too, defeating qualified immunity. Tori Clark brings us this sobering case where, at least this time, the drunken logic of qualified immunity didn’t rear its ugly head. Also, we discuss what happens when you don’t pay your taxes and then sue about them. Turns out you can’t do that. You also might have your passport taken away. Which raises the question of whether you have a right to do that thing the passport is for—international travel. We pontificate about a Fifth Circuit case concerning taxes and a passport where there’s also a couple elephants in the room.
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