Amy Walsh


official immunity, separation of powers, official function, function test


The author examines the application of the official immunity doctrine to a situation where a federal district court issued contempt citations to local legislators in Yonkers who refused to pass legislation as required by a consent decree. The author argues that the function test for official immunity is by its very nature conclusory, and thus courts, in close cases, should use a separation of powers analysis to inform their application of the function test. Courts should deploy this separation of powers analysis by finding that where an official act was based on a mixture of powers, a rebuttable presumption should exist that the official was acting in an executive capacity and is only entitled to qualified immunity.



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