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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Supreme Court Grants Review for Ashcroft

An article published on the SCOTUS blog on October 19, 2010, entitled “UPDATED: New Review for Ashcroft,” reports that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a new case, a plea by former U.S. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft for immunity to a lawsuit claiming he misused a federal law to detain terrorism suspects without charging them with a crime.

SCOTUS blog reports:

“The Court limited its review of the new case (Ashcroft v. Al-Kidd, 10-98) to two issues: whether Ashcroft is entitled to absolute immunity in a case involving a detention under the federal “material witness” law, and whether he is entitled at least to qualified immunity to a Fourth Amendment claim.  The Court did not grant review of a third issue, involving the former Justice Department chief’s liability for false statements by a federal agent — apparently because the challenger has dropped that claim.”

Specifically, the new case involves a claim that under Ashcroft’s leadership, federal official in 2003 arrested and held a Nevada man, Abdullah Al-Kidd, for 15 days by relying upon a federal witness-availability law: the “material-witness” statute. The statute provides for the temporary detention of an individual who is being held as a witness of someone else’s alleged crime when officials suspect that person may not otherwise be available in the future.

For the full text of the article, click here.

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