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Not Enough Blame to Go Around: Reflections on Requiring Purposeful Government Misconduct

19 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2003 Last revised: 21 Mar 2017

Susan A. Bandes

DePaul University - College of Law

Abstract

Although neither blame nor responsibility is a term capable of precise definition, blame is a concept with particular resonances - both moral and emotional. Blame evokes a highly personal expression of the wrongdoer's attitudes or emotions toward the victim, whereas responsibility connotes a professional violation of shared, externalized norms. This article identifies an increasingly pronounced tendency to premise government liability on a demand for blameworthy behavior of a type in which entities rarely engage, rather than on standards of responsibility better suited to measuring the behaviors and duties of governmental entities. It argues that the tendency has had unfortunate consequences for the scope of municipal liability jurisprudence.

Suggested Citation

Bandes, Susan A., Not Enough Blame to Go Around: Reflections on Requiring Purposeful Government Misconduct. Brooklyn Law Review, Vol. 68, p. 1195, 2002-2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=372362 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.372362

Susan A. Bandes (Contact Author)

DePaul University - College of Law ( email )

25 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL Cook County 60604-2287
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HOME PAGE: http://www.susanbandes.com/

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