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What is Absolute Immunity?

what is absolute immunity

As often happens before, during, and after presidential campaigns, the topic of absolute immunity inevitably gets brought up. What does this term mean? Why is it relevant? What does it have to do with the president? Should people support it or oppose it? We’ll answer all these questions and more as we answer “What is absolute immunity?”

What is Absolute Immunity?

First, let’s give a basic definition. According to Duhaime’s Encyclopedia of Law, absolute immunity “shields public officials from being sued for official acts without regard to motive.” In other words, when a public official does something while filling their office, they cannot be prosecuted for it.

For example, let’s assume that your boss at work has absolute immunity. Then, while working as your boss, they make a decision that brings harm to several employees and customers. Their absolute immunity means that no one can sue them because of that decision.

However, if they then leave work and rob someone’s home, their immunity does not apply. Why? Because they didn’t rob the home while working as the boss, but outside of that role.

Qualified Immunity vs. Absolute Immunity

Second, we need to go beyond simple “what is absolute immunity?” If you’ve read our previous blog on qualified immunity, you mind wonder about the differences between the two. There are two main differences:

  • Motive
  • Laws broken

Therefore, under qualified immunity, if you broke the law in a pre-meditated way, that shows motive. Hence, your immunity would not apply there. Next, absolute immunity protects from prosecution from most laws. But qualified immunity is much more limited. Precisely what laws from which you’re protected depends on the state, the office, and other factors.

What is Absolute Immunity? Ask Mark Catanzaro!

Finally, if you want to learn more about absolute immunity, keep checking this blog for updates! There’s a lot more to talk about with this issue. Furthermore, if you need the best defense attorney in New Jersey, then reach out to Mark Catanzaro!


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