Emory Law Journal


Seena Forouzan


In 1871, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. Section 1, more commonly known as 42 U.S.C. § 1983 today, is the primary vehicle for constitutional tort litigation. Federal courts have imported¿contrary to the plain language of the law¿several immunities to this law. This Comment focuses on one immunity in particular: absolute judicial immunity. Despite the ¿judicial¿ qualifier, absolute judicial immunity has been extended to a number of parties who are not judges. Although language in Supreme Court opinions certainly supports restricting absolute judicial immunity, this Comment proposes that the Supreme Court¿s muddled methodology in this area supports the expansion of absolute judicial immunity. Fidelity to Supreme Court precedent will further expand absolute judicial immunity. This Comment proposes one solution to further the values disserved by the outgrowth of absolute judicial immunity: a formalist regime that clothes only judges with absolute immunity and the rest with qualified immunity.