30 March, 2010

No Immunity for former AG, in Abdullah Al-Kidd v. John Ashcroft

From AllGov.com and ACLU.org:

Last Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a September 2009 ruling that Al-Kidd may go forward with his claim that Ashcroft bears responsibility for the former's wrongful detention, dismissing a petition filed by Ashcroft to have the decision reconsidered en banc.
"In March 2003, Kidd was arrested at Dulles Airport as he prepared to board a flight to Saudi Arabia to work on his doctorate in Islamic Studies."
Kidd was detained for two weeks, and then asked to live with his wife's parents in Las Vegas for 15 months.  His detention was ordered under 18 U.S.C. § 3144, commonly known as the "material witness law."  The ACLU, filing suit for the plaintiff, contends that Ashcroft implemented a distorted version of the law to pre-emptively detain Kidd (along with others) with no probable cause, rather than secure witnesses with actionable information or testimony.