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Ashcroft to Get High Court Review of Lawsuit by Man Held as Terror Witness

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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-10 11:05 AM
Original message
Ashcroft to Get High Court Review of Lawsuit by Man Held as Terror Witness
Source: Bloomberg

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider reinforcing the legal immunity of top government officials, agreeing to decide whether a man can sue former Attorney General John Ashcroft after being detained without charge for 16 days.

The justices will review a ruling that allowed a suit filed by Abdullah al-Kidd, a Muslim U.S. citizen who was arrested in 2003 and held as a material witness in a terrorism probe. Al- Kidd says the government classified him as a material witness because it lacked enough evidence to hold him as a suspect.

Obama administration lawyers are representing Ashcroft at the Supreme Court, arguing that the lower court ruling would have dire consequences for criminal investigations.

The ruling would threaten the ability of prosecutors to discharge their duties without fear of personal liability, severely limit the usefulness of the material witness statute and substantially chill officers in the exercise of important government functions, acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal argued in the appeal.

Al-Kidd, an African American who converted to Islam, contends he was swept up in a broad anti-terrorism investigation aimed at Arab and Muslim men and approved by Ashcroft. He was arrested at Dulles International Airport outside Washington as he was preparing to board a flight to Saudi Arabia, where he says he planned to study at a university.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-18/ashcroft-to-ge...
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-10 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. Why the hell shouldn't a prosecutor who stepped over the line have personal liability?
I am sooooooooooo sick of this unequal treatment of govt vs. private counsel. If a private atty had held a witness under lock and key to coerce testimony...tell me he/she would not be disbarred at a minimum, not to mention the civil penalties.

This is bullshit.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-10 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. See: Bivens Action
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Hepburn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-10 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I am very familiar with the Bivens case...
...I have used it before.

The problem is NOT the civil action like in Bivens, but getting an entity like the CalBar to go after a prosecutor and discipline him/her for unethical acitons.

Yeah, Bivens is a great case ~~ anything that gets the IRS, I am all for that!
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-10 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R
Fuck Ashcroft.

Post-9/11 Immigrant Roundup Backfired - Report
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0627-03.htm

U.S. to Pay $1.2 Million to 5 Detainees Over Abuse Lawsuit
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/nyregion/03jail.html
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-10 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
3. Accountability? Ha! good luck. n/t
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