8089 – Not With a Bang But With a Whimper


Our Courts are open to all, even to suspected terrorists, who sue the Attorney General and the head of the FBI.  Shortly after 9/11, Javaid Iqbal was one of 184 persons deemed to be of “high interest” and held at that the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.  After pleading guilty to immigration and fraud charges, he was returned to Pakistan.  He then sued Attorney General Ashcroft and FBI Director, Mueller claiming he subjected to unconstitutional treatment during his detention, that he was repeatedly kicked and punched, subjected to unreasonable strip searches and not allowed to pray.  The District Court and the Court of Appeals refused to dismiss the case, but the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that officials cannot be held personally liable for acts committed by others, that purposeful bias must also be proved and that mere knowledge of subordinates’ discriminatory action is not enough. So, in the end, the rule of law protects those who make the rules as well as those who break them.

John D. Ashcroft, former Attorney General, et al. v. Javaid Iqbal, et al., U.S. Supreme Court, No. 07-1015, 5-18-09, Kennedy, J. USLW, Vol. 77, No. 44, Pg. 4837 5-19-09 (DIDN’T HAVE A PRAYER)