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Arizona sues Biden administration over COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Arizona is the first state to sue President Joe Biden and his administration over the controversial COVID-19 vaccine mandates for federal employees and private workers announced last week.
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Why TikTok star Zoe Laverne sold ‘exclusive’ $15 photos of her baby to fans
The new mom was promptly criticized by some fans for trying to monetize the birth: "Many celebrities post photos of their children and make a living being 100% available to the public all the time. I still have to work to make sure I can pay for my child while also going to the ICU...
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Supply-chain crisis, hoarding products spark food shortages across US
People are stockpiling everything from canned goods to boxed items and even making a run on milk when it's available in grocery stores.
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Internet sleuths say they saw ‘angel’ above Gabby Petito’s white van
Internet sleuths claim a cloud formation “angel” is hovering in the sky in a recently surfaced photo of Gabby Petito's Ford Transit being transported on the back of a truck in Florida.
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'FOUND'S' Chloe, Sadie and Lily Discuss 'Emotional Journey' to China and What's Next
Chloe, Sadie and Lily of Netflix's "FOUND" exclusively revealed to Newsweek what they are up to now—one year on from the adventure.
Climate Chaos Helped Spark the French Revolution—and Holds a Dire Warning for Today
Historians have long observed the links between the natural environment and the fate of civilization. Natural emergencies like droughts, floods and crop failure regularly plunge people into chaos. Long term changes in the earth’s climatic conditions lead flourishing societies like the Roman Empire to wither and fade. But perhaps there is no greater example of…
13 Couples Halloween Costumes for 2021: From Kravis to Bridgerton
Opting for a couples costume at Halloween is a good opportunity to have double the fun. Here are some of our favorite ideas for this year.
90-year-old coronavirus survivor shares her story
A Seattle woman recovers from coronavirus despite a dire prognosis. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.
Sabres rally to beat Canucks, improve to 3-0
Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson scored 23 seconds apart in the third period and the Buffalo Sabres rallied to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Doctors hope the blood of coronavirus survivors can help save lives
Doctors are hopeful that a treatment or coronavirus may already exist -- in the blood of patients who were once infected. Blood plasma from those who have recovered can be a rich source of antibodies, the proteins that help the immune system attack the virus. Dr. Jonathan LaPook reports.
Italian hospital modifying scuba masks to replace ventilators
With ventilators running low, a desperate hospital in northern Italy has a new idea: modified scuba masks. Chris Livesay reports.
New Orleans, Chicago, and Detroit likely to see conditions worsen next week, Surgeon General says
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told CBS News that New Orleans, Chicago and Detroit are likely to see conditions worsen next week. The National Guard could be called in to set up beds in Illinois and Michigan. Dean Reynolds reports.
Possible bomb threat being investigated at Walter Reed
Officials are investigating a possible bomb threat in Bethesda.
U.S. hospitals struggle to treat coronavirus patients
The healthcare system in the U.S. is struggling to treat some coronavirus patients. Hundreds of healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus, and supplies are beginning to run low in some areas. Mola Lenghi reports.
President Trump signs $2 trillion COVID-19 emergency bill
The House passed the $2 trillion coronavirus bill on Friday with bipartisan support, following a unanimous vote in the Senate. Hours later, President Trump signed it into law. Paula Reid reports.
Coronavirus Q&A: Experts answer your most pressing questions on health and the economy
New details surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy come every day. "CBS This Morning" assembled a panel of experts to answer viewers' most pressing questions to make sure you have the information you need to navigate the new normal.
John Eastman Is Not a Victim of Cancel Culture
I am a lifelong conservative. For the past 20 years, I have been a leader in the Federalist Society. I was nominated by President Donald Trump three times to serve as a federal judge, though I never secured a hearing, because then-Senator Kamala Harris blocked my nomination. I did not vote for President Joe Biden in 2020, and I hope he is defeated in 2024 by a principled and ethical conservative Republican.But I also believe that Biden won the 2020 election fairly. Those who are enabling Trump’s ongoing effort to challenge the legitimacy of the election—John Eastman chief among them—should be rejected by all conservatives who love their country. He and others like him pose a clear and present danger to the health of our republic.Following the election, Eastman represented Trump in challenging the election results on the basis of unsupported claims of fraud, and urged Vice President Mike Pence to block the electoral-vote count in Congress. These actions crossed a serious line because they sought to overturn the will of the voters. Now he is complaining about supposedly being deplatformed by the Federalist Society. He has specifically called me out, writing, “Some of the more vicious attacks on me have come from Federalist Society leaders like Jeremy Rosen, with no rebuttal opportunity afforded to me.” An email I wrote in the aftermath of the events of January 6, criticizing Eastman, was reported in the press, but I was far from the only conservative to make such points. Thus, I am not sure why he is singling me out.[Adam Serwer: Trump’s plan for a coup are now public]It gives me no joy to fight him on this. I have known Eastman for roughly 20 years and considered him a friend. We were connected on Facebook, we have many mutual friends, I contributed to his campaign years ago for California attorney general, and each year for about a decade, I invited him to participate in the annual Supreme Court roundup event sponsored by the Los Angeles Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.I also want to make clear that, although I have been a volunteer leader in the Federalist Society for more than 20 years, I do not speak for the organization. Speaking for myself, I believe that principled conservatives need to take a stand against those in the conservative movement who have shed actual conservative principles to peddle a false and dangerous narrative.Many of Eastman’s critics on the left lack credibility, given their reprehensible silence during previous dangerous stunts by Democratic members of Congress who objected to counting the electoral votes legitimately won by George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 and by Trump in 2016. That the Democrats who so irresponsibly attacked previous election results were fewer in number than the Republicans now doing the same does not minimize the dangerous precedent set by such antics. Principled conservatives who properly objected to the attempted assault on the rule of law in prior elections should do so again here.The genius of our Constitution is in its separation of powers among the three branches of government and among the federal government, the states, and the people. Our system can survive only when all three branches of the federal government adhere to the rule of law and do not arrogate to themselves powers not granted to them by the Constitution. That is why judges need to apply originalist and textualist principles to ensure that they do not become unelected tyrants imposing on the nation their whims disguised as constitutional law. Likewise, presidents and members of Congress need to respect the will of the voters and not seek to retain power through extra-constitutional means.In his January 6 speech to the mob that would ultimately storm the Capitol, Eastman claimed that many voting machines had a secret folder that included additional votes for Biden. According to Eastman, after all the votes were in, those secret votes were assigned to people who hadn’t voted, in order to push Biden over the top in multiple states. The Trump campaign pursued at least 50 unsuccessful legal challenges to various state Electoral College slates along similar lines. Many of those cases were decided by conservative judges, some of whom had been appointed by Trump himself. There is simply no evidence that the voting machines in multiple states, including those with Republican Secretaries of State, were altered to manufacture votes for Biden.[David A. Graham: The new Lost Cause]Eastman also prepared a six-page memo for Pence, arguing that Pence had broad powers to stop the Electoral College–vote counting in the Senate. Eastman asserted that the vice president had the authority under the Twelfth Amendment to determine on his own which Electoral College votes were valid and to count only those, thus giving the election to Trump. This theory does not hold up to basic scrutiny. Applying originalism to interpret the Twelfth Amendment, Derek Muller, a professor at the University of Iowa and a prominent conservative election lawyer, explains that the vice president lacks any authority other than to announce the votes that have already been counted by Congress. Indeed, in 2000, Eastman himself argued that Vice President Al Gore did not have power over the counting, because only both houses of Congress possess such authority. If Gore lacked the power to challenge the counting of Electoral College votes he disputed to deprive then-Governor Bush of the presidency, so too did Pence with regard to Trump.Finally, Eastman seeks to tie his alleged deplatforming by the Federalist Society to the legitimate and real problems caused by the cancel-culture movement on the left. Recent events at Yale Law School and MIT, for example, show that there are some progressives who wish to silence anyone who thinks differently from them. As David Lat and others have noted, threats to deplatform people because of disagreement with their message harm free speech and public discourse. Conservatives also have engaged in attempts to cancel those with whom they disagree, and such efforts are just as wrong.But what Eastman complains about is not cancel culture. Eastman actively sought to help Trump steal an election he did not win. Had they succeeded, the peaceful and orderly transfer of power that is the hallmark of any democracy would have been threatened for the first time in our nation’s history. Seeking to subvert and damage our democracy is not the same as speaking freely, and it does not warrant any platform. Once our nation’s leaders refuse to be bound by the rule of law, the entire underpinning of our liberal democracy is lost.The 2020 election was bitterly fought. Many people, including myself, had real concerns about the Biden-Harris agenda. But the fact that one is ultimately unhappy with the winner of a national election does not justify overturning the will of the voters. Principled conservatives should accept the legitimacy of the election, actively oppose Biden’s many bad policy proposals, and work hard to ensure that a Republican wins the next election, fair and square.
Dr. Agus on coronavirus pandemic: Social distancing "is starting to work"
The U.S. has reached a grim milestone with over 1,000 dead because of the coronavirus pandemic, as Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that a second wave of the virus could be possible. However, Dr. David Agus says that current social distancing efforts are working, and claims the country will be prepared for any future outbreaks. He joins "CBS This Morning" to talk about how efforts to flatten the coronavirus curve are set to benefit the country in the long term.
Barkov breaks tie in 3rd, Panthers defeat Lightning 4-1
Aleksander Barkov scored the go-ahead goal 3:40 into the third period and the Florida Panthers won their third straight game by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Tuesday night.
How to help your community amid coronavirus pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on many facets of everyday life, but has also shown the remarkable ways people can and have stepped up to help each other in a time of need. New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin joins "CBS This Morning" to talk about how you can reach out and help your community as well, as part of our partnership with Rubin and her award-winning podcast, "Happier."
Most Independents, a Key Demographic for Biden, Blame Him for Rising Prices
The Department of Labor reported inflation was up 5.4 percent in September from where it was a year ago.
Mikaela Shiffrin knows pain and loss. Now she’s back on top of the mountain.
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How are everyday people handling the new normal of social distancing?
“CBS This Morning” followed four people across the U.S. as they spent a week documenting their social distancing. We heard from Val Biancaniello, a Pennsylvania respiratory therapist, Alfonso Auz, a DoorDash driver in North Carolina, Naj Austin, who founded Ethel’s Club, a social club for people of color in Brooklyn and Reverend Kelly Hough Rogers, senior minister of the Scarsdale Congregational Church in New York. They, like millions of Americans, are navigating their new normal amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Live Updates: Confirmation Hearings for U.S. Ambassadors to China and Japan
R. Nicholas Burns, the nominee for U.S. ambassador to China, is facing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then Rahm Emanuel, the nominee for U.S. ambassador to Japan, will face the panel amid objections by some Democrats over his handling of a killing of a Black teenager by police in 2014.
Photos: The stars were out at Lakers home opener
Adele, Kevin Hart, Usher, Justin Bieber. No it wasn't an awards show, but the star power was in the house for the Lakers home opener.
Dune Is Epic, but That’s Not Why It’s Great
Paul Atreides, the handsome young protagonist of Dune, is one of science fiction’s original chosen ones. His heroic journey from plucky teenager to feared warrior has been imitated time and time again—think of Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter. But the director Denis Villeneuve’s film is the first adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel to properly portray the grim tragedy of Paul’s arc; the movie is epic in scope, but it understands the quieter human underpinnings of the original work.At the heart of Herbert’s Dune series, a multi-book tale of space empires, sandworms, religious fervor, and political gamesmanship spanning centuries, was a simple observation: Great power comes with terrible burden. Dune follows the Atreides family after Duke Leto Atreides (played by Oscar Isaac) is given control of Arrakis, a harsh planet that is mined for a magical substance called spice, crucial to space travel. The Duke knows the gift is a poisoned chalice, an opportunity to fail that’s been set up by an evil baron—but still he accepts, hoping to defeat the odds stacked against him. His wife, Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), is an aristocratic space witch who works to mold the future behind the scenes. And their son, Paul (Timothée Chalamet), might be the messiah, a baby she willed into existence against her training. He is marked from birth with the potential to change the universe’s destiny. But being at the center of a cosmic chess match is as terrifying as it is exhilarating.All of this information will seem basic to a Dune fan, but it’s difficult to communicate on screen without massive voice-over information dumps, a tactic David Lynch resorted to in his failed 1984 adaptation. Luckily, Villeneuve’s film—billed on-screen as Dune: Part One—attempts to translate only the first half of Herbert’s first book. It has more room to breathe as a result, so it can offer newcomers to the series more clarity and spend real time developing its characters beyond familiar archetypes.[Read: The messy, misunderstood glory of David Lynch’s Dune]The scale still feels immense—enough to capture the magnitude of Herbert’s storytelling, which blended the fall of the Roman empire with 20th-century imperialism and flung it into a far future, in which space aristocrats wrestle for control of whole planets. Villeneuve, a French-Canadian director, emerged with the indie works Polytechnique and Incendies. But his Hollywood output steadily increased in budget and ambition, beginning with dark thrillers such as Prisoners and Sicario, and then moving into the staggering science fiction of Arrival and Blade Runner 2049. With Dune, Villeneuve takes on a famed best seller that defeated one of the finest filmmakers alive, and it’s his grandest gamble yet: He imagines city-size ships, helicopters that look like dragonflies, and giant worms rampaging around the desert, and pairs them with a thundering Hans Zimmer score. Dune will be released on HBO Max the same day it hits theaters, but it’s best enjoyed on the largest possible screen with a bone-rattling sound system.The grandeur was expected; Villeneuve is a rare director who actually knows what to do with a colossal budget. His movies, though, are often dismissed as chilly puzzle boxes. Although I count myself as a fan of his work, I did wonder if the large ensemble—including Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, and Charlotte Rampling—might feel like pawns being moved around on a galactic board. But he wisely places the emotional focus on the central trio: Paul and his parents, all struggling against the rigid expectations that other people—and their society—have for them. Chalamet plays Paul as someone alternately tempted by and fearful of his prophesied future, and of the mythic powers that carry him further and further from normalcy. Isaac’s Duke, tinged with sadness and resignation, tries to make small steps toward a peace that he knows is unlikely. But Ferguson is the star of the show, imperious at one moment and fragile the next, torn between nurturing her son’s purpose and protecting him from becoming a monster. Warner Bros. Pictures Those finely drawn emotions made Dune resonate for me, much more than its stunning battle sequences or sweeping landscapes. Villeneuve’s sole error is that in giving himself time to explore Herbert’s novel, he has robbed himself of a proper ending—the film cuts off about halfway into the book, and you don’t have to be a reader to tell. The film left me wanting much more, but one hopes this Dune won’t become another strange footnote in film history. Villeneuve’s vision can be fulfilled only if he’s allowed to complete the tale.
Seal rescued after swimming 80 miles with Red Bull can stuck in mouth
Animal lovers were overjoyed and praised UK officials who saved the helpless marine mammal.
Examining what provokes American’s aggression
"CBS Mornings” co-host Tony Dokoupil talks to a man whose fiery school board speech went viral. He also spoke with researchers about anger and why it's not always bad.
Bitcoin soars past $65,000 to hit all-time high
The digital coin passed the milestone at 9:43 a.m. and was trading north of $65,800 just minutes later, according to Coinbase data.
Border patrol arrests at highest level in 35 years: report
Mexico was the largest single source of illegal immigration during the fiscal year, the data revealed, with Border Patrol arresting over 608,000 Mexican nationals.
NYC deli employee stabbed to death by customer after dispute over store credit, family says
A New York City deli worker was fatally stabbed Tuesday night in East Harlem during a dispute with a male customer who fled the scene, police said.
Raymond scores 1st NHL goal, Red Wings top Blue Jackets 4-1
Lucas Raymond made his first NHL goal a big one for the Detroit Red Wings, breaking a scoreless tie at 6:38 of the third period on the way to a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg added to D.C. privacy lawsuit
The District of Columbia suit was filed in 2018 and stems from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Clay Travis on Aaron Rodgers' comments: Woke culture represents the antithesis of everything sports stands for
Outkick Founder Clay Travis reacted Wednesday to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ recent comments on 'woke cancel culture' following controversy over his taunt towards Chicago Bears fans.
Man Retrieves AirPod From Subway Tracks With Viral Tape Measure Trick
New Yorker Cesar Kuriyama has racked up more than 2.3 million views for a TikTok video showing the ingenious way he got back his wireless in-ear headphone.
Facebook reportedly planning to rebrand as its shifts focus to metaverse
Facebook is reportedly planning to announce a rebrand which would include changing its company name.
Poll: Majority of Working Class Americans Want Less Immigration
The majority of working Americans believe the United States has too much immigration, a new poll reveals.
What really upset Charles Barkley about Kyrie Irving’s vaccine stance
Charles Barkley is annoyed with Kyrie Irving’s decision to remain unvaccinated – but especially one specific aspect of it. Barkley — during TNT’s “Inside the NBA” tip-off show Tuesday — took issue with the fact that the Nets star will still earn millions this season, despite not playing due to his unvaccinated status under New...
Predators score twice in third period, top Kings 2-1
Matt Duchene and Tanner Jeannot scored in the third period to give the Nashville Predators a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.
For the vaccinated, how risky could holiday gatherings be?
Officials say it's possible to safely participate in many holiday activities if everyone is vaccinated for COVID. But extra precautions may be needed.
American Travel Rules Discriminate Against Europeans
Entry to the U.S. requires more proof of vaccination than should be necessary, while unvaccinated people are free to fly anywhere within the country.
Quince evokes mystery and magic as heat turns the fruit from woody to luscious
Cooking quince feels like witnessing a small miracle, as it turns a sunset palette of rose-orange shades while poaching.
Poached quince stars in this kale and herb salad with a punchy dressing
Iceberg lettuce, kale and quince deliver varied texture, while fresh mint and cilantro give it bright flavor.
Royal Caribbean announces 'world cruise of world cruises' scheduled to visit 150 destinations
Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas ship will sail on what the line is calling the "longest and most comprehensive" world cruise to depart in 2023.
Rosy poached quince and goat milk pudding pair for a stunning fall parfait
The creamy pudding and the squash-like texture of the quince are a nice contrast.
Voting rights bill set for Senate vote, showdown likely to amp up pressure to end filibuster
Voting rights bill is expected to die in the Senate, a move likely to intensify pressure from progressives on Democratic leaders to eliminate filibuster.
What Could Thoreau Teach Me, a Pakistani American Woman?
The gifts of Walden Pond aren’t so freely given to everyone who visits.
The Supreme Court floats a startling expansion to police immunity from the law
A protest against racism and President Trump in Washington, DC, resulted in police officers using tear gas, pepper spray pellets, and concussion grenades against demonstrators on May 31, 2020. | Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images A new opinion suggests that “qualified immunity” could become something much closer to absolute immunity from lawsuits. The Supreme Court handed down a brief opinion on Monday holding that a California police officer is immune from a lawsuit alleging he used excessive force while helping arrest an armed suspect. Though the Court’s decision in Rivas-Villegas v. Cortesluna is fairly straightforward — the justices held that Officer Daniel Rivas-Villegas “did not violate clearly established law” when he briefly used his knee to hold down a suspect who was armed with a knife and who had allegedly threatened his girlfriend and her two children with a chainsaw — it contains two sentences that should alarm police reformers. Both sentences suggest that there is support at least among some of the justices to significantly expand police officers’ immunity from federal civil rights lawsuits. Government officials accused of violating federal law are entitled to “qualified immunity,” meaning that they cannot be sued unless their conduct violates “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.” In Harlow v. Fitzgerald (1982), the Court laid out several reasons this doctrine exists. Qualified immunity protects public employees from the “expenses of litigation.” It ensures that the stress of litigation does not divert “official energy from pressing public issues,” or deter “able citizens from acceptance of public office.” At least according to Harlow, qualified immunity also reduces “the danger that fear of being sued will ‘dampen the ardor of all but the most resolute, or the most irresponsible [public officials], in the unflinching discharge of their duties.’” But qualified immunity is not supposed to be absolute immunity. Again, officers can still be sued for violating clearly established law. Under existing precedents, an officer may still be sued if their actions clearly violate a legal rule laid out in a Supreme Court decision that has not been overruled. An officer also is not entitled to qualified immunity if their actions clearly violate a legal rule laid out by the federal appeals court (also known as a “circuit” court) that oversees the jurisdiction where the officer is sued. A passage in the Court’s new decision in Rivas-Villegas, however, floats a radical idea: that officers may be entitled to qualified immunity even if they violate clearly established circuit court precedents. The opinion was unsigned, which is a common practice when the justices dispose of a case in a brief decision without hearing argument on the case, so we don’t know who wrote the opinion or who inserted the two significant sentences into it. Twice, the Rivas-Villegas opinion uses nearly identical language — “even assuming that Circuit precedent can clearly establish law” and “even assuming that controlling Circuit precedent clearly establishes law” — thatimplies it is uncertain whether a circuit court decision is sufficient to overcome qualified immunity. These lines open the door to a new regime, where victims of police violence can no longer rely on appellate court decisions to breach an officer’s partial immunity to suit. At least as recently as Lane v. Franks (2014), a unanimous Supreme Court indicated that circuit court precedent can overcome qualified immunity. Six of the justices who joined Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s unanimous decision in Lane — Sotomayor, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, and Elena Kagan — are still on the Court today. If the justices do reject the position they took in Lane, that would be a major shift in the law that would significantly expand police officers’ immunity from litigation. That’s because the 13 federal circuit courts collectively handle over 50,000 cases a year, while the Supreme Court normally only decides about 60 to 80 precedent-setting cases in the same period. If civil rights plaintiffs can no longer rely on circuit court precedent to show that a particular legal rule is “clearly established,” they will lose an enormous body of law that currently can be used to breach qualified immunity. How disregarding circuit courts will make it harder to hold police accountable Plaintiffs seeking to hold officers accountable for their illegal conduct already face enormous obstacles. As the Supreme Court held in Mullenix v. Luna (2015), such plaintiffs cannot overcome qualified immunity unless their legal rights are clearly established, and “a clearly established right is one that is ‘sufficiently clear that every reasonable official would have understood that what he is doing violates that right.’” Currently, these plaintiffs can rely on multiple legal authorities, including circuit court precedents, to show that a particular right is “clearly established.” Take away their ability to rely on circuit court decisions and these plaintiffs will lose nearly all of the case law that they can currently point to in order to breach qualified immunity. The circuit courts, moreover, do not simply hear vastly more cases than the Supreme Court — they also tend to hear a greater diversity of cases. A party that loses in a federal trial court has a right to appeal that decision to federal circuit courts, which are not allowed to turn away cases that they deem to be too easy or too uninteresting. The Supreme Court, by contrast, has discretion to decide nearly all of the cases that it hears — and it uses this discretion fairly mercilessly. In a typical term, the Court receives between 7,000 and 8,000 petitions asking it to hear a case, but typically grants fewer than 80 of these petitions. One of the most common reasons the Court agrees to hear a case is if the case presents a sufficiently difficult legal question that two circuit courts disagree about the correct answer. The Supreme Court, in other words, typically hears the hardest cases, while circuit courts hear thousands of much easier cases. But that means that, if an officer commits a legal violation so obvious that any reasonable judge will agree that the officer violated the constitution or a federal statute, that officer’s case will most likely never be heard by the Supreme Court. Thus, if the Supreme Court were to hold that circuit precedents cannot be used to breach qualified immunity, officers who engage in obviously unconstitutional actions may never be held accountable because there will never be a Supreme Court decision clearly establishing that their actions are illegal. In addition, many of the Supreme Court’s precedents governing the use of force by police are extraordinarily vague. As the Court acknowledges in Rivas-Villegas, the justices’ seminal excessive force decisions in Tennessee v. Garner (1985) and Graham v. Connor (1989) announce legal standards that “are cast ‘at a high level of generality.’” Graham, for example, held that the question of when police conduct crosses the line into excessive force “is not capable of precise definition or mechanical application,” and that it involves factors such as “the facts and circumstances of each particular case, including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether he is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.” In the 32 years since Graham was decided, federal circuit courts have placed a fair amount of meat on these bare bones. These lower court decisions make up the bulk of the law answering questions like how severe a crime needs to be to justify the use of additional force, or what is a sufficient threat to officer safety to justify such force. If civil rights plaintiffs cannot rely on circuit court decisions to answer such questions, countless lawsuits that would otherwise prevail are doomed. Whya few words in a longer decision should ring alarm bells In many cases, when the Supreme Court uses the kind of coy language it used in Rivas-Villegas, implying that the correct answer to a legal question is unsettled when it is actually well-established, that is because one or more justices want to unsettle the law. Such language is a not-too-subtle signal to lawyers that they should start bringing cases making a particular legal argument — in this case, the argument that circuit court precedents cannot be used to breach qualified immunity. Just in case there is any doubt: Current law indicates that circuit court decisions may be used to breach qualified immunity. For several years in the 2000s, beginning with the Court’s decision in Saucier v. Katz (2001), the justices required circuit courts to follow a two-step process in cases involving qualified immunity. First, the court was required to determine whether the officer actually violated the law. Then, if the officer’s actions violated the law, the circuit court would determine whether it was “clearly established” that the law was violated. This procedure, Saucier explained, “permits courts in appropriate cases to elaborate the constitutional right with greater degrees of specificity” — that is, it allowed circuit courts to expand the universe of legal questions with “clearly established” answers, and thus reduce the universe of cases where officers could claim qualified immunity. Though the Court abandoned this two-step framework in Pearson v. Callahan (2009), which permitted lower courts to consider whether a right is clearly established without determining if that right had actually been violated in a particular case, Pearson largely rooted its holding in concerns about judicial efficiency. Saucier’s two-step process, Pearson explained, “sometimes results in a substantial expenditure of scarce judicial resources on difficult questions that have no effect on the outcome of the case.” The Court’s 2012 decision in Reichle v. Howards (2012) does include a line suggesting that under certain circumstances, a circuit court decision may not be enough to breach qualified immunity — but the Court clarified two years later, in Lane, that circuit courts may create “clearly established” law. Lane includes an extensive discussion of whether a particular interpretation of the First Amendment was “clearly established” in the 11th Circuit — a discussion that makes no sense unless circuit court decisions are sufficient to overcome such immunity. So the language in Rivas-Villegas suggesting that circuit court precedents cannot be used to overcome qualified immunity is quite odd. It conflicts with a fairly recent, unanimous Supreme Court decision. And it would leave many victims of excessive police force without recourse. The odd language in Rivas-Villegas is also a bit surprising because, not that long ago, civil rights lawyers had good reason to hope that the Court might back away from an expansive qualified immunity doctrine. In a 2017 opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas — arguably the Court’s most conservative member — wrote that his Court should “reconsider our qualified immunity jurisprudence.” He followed up that statement with a 2020 opinion arguing that there “likely is no basis for the objective inquiry into clearly established law that our modern cases prescribe.” Now, however, the Supreme Court is floating a change in course — one that would expandqualified immunity considerably.
Long-shot golfers to watch at the Zozo Championship
Will Zalatoris and Jhonattan Vegas are two golfers bettors should considers in this week's Zozo Championship in Japan.