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Thread: Supreme Court Accepts Key Case on Prosecutorial/Qualified Immunity

  1. #1

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    Supreme Court Accepts Key Case on Prosecutorial/Qualified Immunity

    From TPM Muckraker: "The Supreme Court today agreed to hear an appeal from former Attorney General John Ashcroft, who claims he should be immune from a lawsuit brought by a Muslim U.S. citizen who was detained for two weeks without charge in 2003 as part of a terrorism investigation.

    Ashcroft has claimed total immunity from the lawsuit. At question is whether he is entitled to such immunity, according to SCOTUSblog.

    (See http://www.scotusblog.com/2010/10/as...-case-granted/)

    Ashcroft was sued in 2005 by the ACLU on behalf of Abdullah al-Kidd, an American citizen who was detained in March 2003 as a "material witness" in a terrorism investigation. According to the Washington Independent, al-Kidd was detained in high-security prisons for 16 days, strip-searched and shackled. When they released him, he was ordered to live with his in-laws, restrict his travel to four states and submit to home visits for a year. He was never charged or called to testify.

    In Sept. 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Ashcroft does not have immunity and can be sued. In the ruling, a judge called al-Kidd's detention "repugnant to the Constitution.""

  2. #2
    Regular Member HvyMtl's Avatar
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    Anyone find it odd the Obama Justice Dept is defending Ashcroft here?
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    Not in the least. Current Justice Department members would also risk personal lawsuits if this immunity is pierced to easily.

    To pierce this immunity should require actions specifically by the individual that are wantonly unconstitutional. Not being aware of the facts in this case, I am not willing to make that judgment personally.

    I am anxious to hear the arguments before the SCOTUS.

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    My personal opinion on Prosecutorial/Qualified Immunity is:
    If profiling of any kind opens the door for misconduct and abuse, then Prosecutorial/Qualified Immunity is an engraved invitation for it!

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    Regular Member HvyMtl's Avatar
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    +1 Eye95. Just was looking at it from the political aspect, not the legal one. Probably why I dont practice law

    This will be interesting.

    I do believe Sotomayor(spelling?) will have to recuse herself from this one, which could lead to a 4 v 4 opinion, which automatically makes the lower court ruling enforced.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HvyMtl View Post
    I do believe Sotomayor(spelling?) will have to recuse herself from this one, which could lead to a 4 v 4 opinion, which automatically makes the lower court ruling enforced.
    Actually it is Kagan who will probably recuse herself:

    Shame really. She likely would be on the side of freedom in this case.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    I sure hope that "qualified immunity" is on it's way out. Or at the very least be strictly defined.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    I sure hope that "qualified immunity" is on it's way out. Or at the very least be strictly defined.
    +1

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    This is bound to be a good read!
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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