Deputy Director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project and lead attorney for al-Kidd Lee Gelernt said:
Arresting and detaining someone for an extended period without probable cause to believe he violated the law goes against the most basic principles on which our country is founded. The appeals court made it very clear that former Attorney General Ashcroft could be held personally responsible if he used the material witness law to circumvent the Constitution’s longstanding rule that a suspect may not be arrested without probable cause of wrongdoing. The appeals court opinion was the right one, and the Supreme Court should uphold that decision. Government architects of policies that so clearly defy the Constitution must be held accountable to the law.
The Supreme Court will limit its review to the two issues involving Ashcroft’s entitlement to immunity and will not review a third issue as to whether Ashcroft could be held liable for alleged false statements made in an affidavit supporting the material witness warrant, as that issue has since been dropped by the ACLU.
Filed under: Detention