SC decision may save top Bush officials from terror lawsuits

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Washington, May 19 (ANI): The Supreme Court of United States has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to hold FBI Director Robert Mueller and former Attorney General John Ashcroft responsible for wrongful detention of Muslims after 9/11.

The apex court ruled that the complaint, against Mueller and Ashcroft for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of post-911 detainees, must be dismissed because the plaintiff failed to present sufficient facts to justify the lawsuit.

"A plaintiff must plead that each government-official defendant, through the official's own individual actions, has violated the Constitution," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.

A plaintiff must "plead sufficient factual matter to show that [government officials] adopted and implemented the detention policies at issue not for a neutral, investigative reason but for the purpose of discriminating on account of race, religion, or national origin."

The case was is poised to give reprieve to high-level government officials - and former Bush administration officials - from similar war-on-terror lawsuits, the Christian Science Monitor opines.

Similar civil lawsuits are pending in the federal courts against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Justice Department legal advisor John Yoo, among others.

The case was also watched closely because it raised the question of whether high-level government officials can be held accountable for harsh anti-terror policies that allegedly violate constitutional rights carried out by lower level officials.

The decision arises from a lawsuit filed by Javaid Iqbal, a Pakistani Muslim, who sought to hold Mueller and Ashcroft accountable for harsh detention and interrogation methods used against him in the days and weeks after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Iqbal was held for 14 months. His lawsuit charged that he was singled out because of his Muslim religion and Middle Eastern appearance. (ANI)

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