Campbell Law Federalist Society presents virtual ‘What do we do with qualified immunity?’ debate Oct. 29

Photo of Campbell Law School sign and entrance at night

RALEIGH — The Campbell Law School Federalist Society will host a virtual panel discussion featuring Ohio State University Law Professor Chris Walker and the Cato Institute’s Clark Neily beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29.

This live event is free and open to the public. Register at the following link: 

The speakers will provide an in-depth analysis of both sides of qualified immunity, including legal and policy ramifications. In the United States, qualified immunity is a legal principle that grants government officials performing discretionary functions immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff shows that the official violated “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.”  

Qualified immunity has risen to prominence due to the ongoing discussion about criminal justice reform. The Federalist Society is preparing speakers from our national list who will provide an in-depth analysis of both sides of qualified immunity. This event will provide students with the ability to make an informed decision about the doctrine itself.  

Chris Walker  

An Associate Professor of Law at The Ohio State University, Walker is a staunch defender of the doctrine. He has written extensively on the topic and is one of the most pronounced and well-spoken defenders of qualified immunity. Walker has worked in all three branches of the federal government as well as in private practice. Prior to joining the law faculty in 2012, Walker clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  

 Clark Neily 

As vice president for criminal justice at the Cato Institute, Neily is a fierce advocate for reforming the doctrine, publishing his book, “Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government.” He served as co‐​counsel in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a gun. Before joining Cato in 2017, Neily was a senior attorney and constitutional litigator at the Institute for Justice and director of the Institute’s Center for Judicial Engagement and is now an adjunct professor at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia School of Law, where he teaches constitutional litigation and public‐​interest law. 


 Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,300 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2019, Campbell Law celebrated 40 years of graduating legal leaders and 10 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.