NEW ORLEANS —Professor Alexander A. Reinert, who authored the pivotal article, “Qualified Immunity’s Flawed Foundation”, has filed an amicus brief in support of Mr. Wesley Pigott and his two children in Pigott v. Gintz. The ACLU of Louisiana filed its opening brief for Pigott v. Gintz with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week. 

In his article, Professor Reinert raised the question of whether the grounds of qualified immunity were based on a mistake. Shortly after Reinert’s publication, a Trump-appointed judge issued a concurring opinion to draw attention to the same question.

On appeal, the Pigott family first argued that qualified immunity is prohibited from consideration in federal civil rights cases because of the original text of Section 1983. In Reinert’s amicus brief, he concurs, citing Congress’ decision in 1871 that there is no good faith defense to violating someone’s constitutional rights.

“Mr. Reinert’s conclusion is the same as ours: if you violate someone’s constitutional rights, you must be held accountable for doing so,” said Nora Ahmed, ACLU of Louisiana legal director. “Such was the case in 1871, and such is the case now.” 

The defendant’s response brief in Pigott v. Gintz is due March 21, 2024.