Current Status of Federal Sovereign Immunity
The government’s immunity has subsequently been eroded by the courts, by statute, and by the Constitution itself, which guarantees certain enforceable rights to the individual. Still, there are recognized grounds for preserving immunity, at least in some circumstances. First, the Eleventh Amendment maintains certain immunities for states. Second, governmental decision makers should not be influenced by fear of private tort litigation. Last, it seems illogical for a claim to be brought against the very authority that created that claim.
The modern application of sovereign immunity prevents the federal and state governments from being sued without their consent, not because “the government can do no wrong,” but because of the need to protect the public treasury and to protect governmental decision makers from being influenced by the threat of private lawsuits. "The government as representative of the community as a whole, cannot be stopped in its tracks by any plaintiff who presents a disputed question of property or contract right." Larson v. Domestic and Foreign Commerce Corp., 337 U.S. 682, 704 (1949).