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The Supreme Court on March 5. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal for a lawsuit brought against Cleveland police officers that challenges the scope of qualified immunity, the legal doctrine which has been used to shield officers from lawsuits alleging excessive force, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The doctrine has been the subject of scrutiny from civil rights advocates. Eliminating qualified immunity was one of the key demands of demonstrators during nationwide protests in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd.

  • Advocates for revising or eliminating the doctrine say it makes successful prosecution of police misconduct difficult by setting a higher bar for civil suits. Others argue that removing it could intensify a nationwide officer shortage.

Details: Shase Howse said that he was slammed to the ground by police and arrested while trying to enter his own home in August 2016, per the NAACP Cleveland Branch. Howse, who is Black, was 20 at the time.

  • An Ohio-based appeals court granted immunity to the officers in the case, arguing that there was no "clearly established" precedent to deem their actions illegal, per Reuters.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' race and justice reporter Russell Contreras: The Supreme Court ruling won't stop advocates who plan on pushing for states to change their qualified immunity laws for officers.

  • proposal in New Mexico, for example, seeks to eliminate qualified immunity for officers accused of violating someone's constitutional rights.

Worth noting: The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed by the House last week would overhaul qualified immunity for officers. It would also ban chokeholds at the federal level, prohibit no-knock warrants in federal drug cases, and outlaw racial profiling.

  • The bill, which is opposed by most Republicans, is less likely to clear the divided Senate.

Go deeper

House votes to ban imports from Xinjiang over forced labor concerns

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The House voted 428-1 on Wednesday to pass a bill that would ban all imports from the Chinese region of Xinjiang unless the U.S. government determines that the products were not made with forced labor.

Why it matters: Both the Trump and Biden administrations, as well as several foreign parliaments, have recognized China's repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang as genocide.

Mark Meadows sues Pelosi, Jan. 6 committee

Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters after a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Nov. 18, 2020. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all nine members of the Jan. 6 select committee on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move comes less than a day after the committee moved to hold Meadows in contempt for refusing to cooperate with its investigation of the Capitol riots.

The four key moments from Instagram's Hill hearing

Adam Mosseri. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Instagram head Adam Mosseri testified before Senate lawmakers Wednesday and was pressed on the app's impacts on young children and teens.

Why it matters: Legislation to protect kids online is one area Congress has shown it's willing to regulate, as Axios previously reported. Wednesday's back-and-forth gave momentum to lawmakers eager to make more rules for social media platforms and how children and teens can use them.