The rationale for granting qualified immunity to public officials is the
recognition that constitutional law is constantly evolving, and public officials
cannot be "expected to predict the future course of constitutional law."
Procunier v. Navarette, 434 U.S. 555 (1978). The policy reasons for protecting
officials from liability from suit for all conceivable constitutional claims include
the need for officials to make decisions without fear of lawsuits, the reluctance
to distract officials from their public duties, and the potential that without
immunity, people would be deterred from participating in public service. See
Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232 (1974) (explaining that qualified immunity
aims to alleviate "the injustice, particularly in the absence of bad faith, of
subjecting to liability an officer who is required, by the legal obligations of his
position, to exercise discretion," and "the danger that the threat of liability
would deter his willingness to execute his office with the decisiveness and the
judgment required by the public good").