Friday, September 4, 2009

Iqbal Case Distinguished in Al-Kidd

The 9th Circuit has ruled that John Ashcroft, former Attorney General, can be sued for post 9/11 detention abuses. In an opinion issued today, the 9th Circuit said that, unlike the Iqbal case, the plaintiff can show a concrete connection between his detention and Ashcroft's specific statements about the use of the federal material witness statutes. See a previous post about Iqbal here including a link to that USSC decision.

The 9th Circuit said that the claims made in Al-Kidd's complaint "plausibly suggest" that Ashcroft purposely used the material witness statute, 18 USC §3144, to detain suspects whom he wished to investigate and detain preventively. The Iqbal case, of course, set out what must now be considered the "plausibility standard" of review.

It is relatively easy to find recent opinions issued by federal Circuit Courts. All courts now have a website with links to their recent decisions. Here is the 9th Circuit opinions page. In this instance it was also easy to find the relevant code section. It is mentioned specifically in the opinion but can be found in full at the CornellLII US Code Collection page using the browse feature. And, its all free...

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