Eric Holder’s Defense of Ashcroft to Defend the Material Witness Statute

By: Monday October 25, 2010 3:50 pm

The NYT has a worthwhile editorial lambasting the Obama DOJ’s pursuit of SCOTUS review in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, which will probably result in expanded immunity for government officials that abuse the law so as to abuse the rights of Americans. The editorial focuses closely on the way in which DOJ’s defense of absolute immunity amounts to a defense of using the material witness law as an improper basis for detention.

 

Will SCOTUS Give Ashcroft Immunity in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd?

By: Monday October 18, 2010 4:10 pm

SCOTUS decided today to take John Ashcroft’s appeal of a 9th Circuit decision finding that he did not have immunity from suit in using the material witness statute to illegally hold someone without probable cause.

This is worrisome, not just because it’s another example of how Elena Kagan’s recusal on all these cases give the court an inherent conservative bias (even assuming Kagan will be better on executive power issues than I think she will be), but because by taking the case SCOTUS seems to suggest the 9th Circuit decision deserves more scrutiny.

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