Supreme Court refuses to take Arar rendition appeal

For the second time in three years, the Court refused, without any noted dissent, to consider a constitutional challenge to the former Bush Administration’s so-called “rendition” program. The US Supreme Court on Monday denied certiorari in Arar v. Ashcroft. Arar asked the court in February to overturn a lower court ruling  that he cannot sue the US government for damages based on his detention in the US and his detention, interrogation and torture in Syria after he was mistakenly identified as a terrorist. Arar was attempting to challenge the government’s extraordinary rendition policy under the Torture Victim Protection Act and the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution. The court declined to hear Arar’s appeal without comment. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who sat on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit when the case was decided en banc, took no part in the decision.

Scotusblog comments and says:

While the Court, as usual, gave no explanation for passing up the case, it may well have been that Sotomayor’s recusal and the prospect that Justice-nominee Elena Kagan would also have to take herself out of the case if it were granted review because she has had some part in its consideration as Solicitor General would have doomed any chance that the Second Circuit could be overturned.

Lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights  who represented Arar expressed disappointment with the court’s decision.

In October 2007, the Supreme Court denied review of the first challenge
to “rendition,” filed by Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen who was
abducted and sent to Afghanistan, where he complained he was subjected
to torture by American agents (El-Masri v. U.S., 06-1613).


One Response

  1. […] with rendition survivor Maher Arar, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear El-Masri’s case. The U.S. government asserted the […]

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