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SG Briefs in Pending Cases:

SCOTUSBlog has posted links to briefs filed by the Office of the Solicitor General in pending cases before the Supreme Court.

Among the briefs that caught my eye is that in Pottawattamie County, Iowa v. McGhee, in which the Justice Department supports absolute immunity from Section 1983 suits for prosecutors who (as alleged in this case) deliberately procured false testimony during a criminal investigation and then knowingly introduced this testimony at trial to obtain a wrongful conviction. (More on the case here.) The brief argues that absolute immunity for prosecutors has deep roots in the common law and is necessary to prevent the threat of liability from altering how prosecutors do their jobs. I don't know enough about the history of this sort of thing to evaluate that aspect of the SG's argument. I also recognize that some applicable precedent may ultimately control the outcome of this case. Nonetheless, as a policy matter it seems incongruous to defend the position that prosecutors should have greater immunity for deliberate misconduct of this sort than do police officers, who only receive qualified immunity. What am I missing?

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