[pjw] News: Supreme Court to hear whether it's legal to detain Muslims (WNYC 11/30)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sun Dec 4 16:08:35 EST 2016

Below is an article about an upcoming Supreme Court case dating back to 
detentions done in 2001-2002 after 9/11 of Muslim Americans. You may 
recall that in part due to heightened awareness of the Oregon State 
Statute (181.575) prohibiting law enforcement targeting people on basis of 
religion (or social or political affiliations) with no suspicion of 
criminal activity, the Portland Police refused to participate in such 
round ups.

I hadn't read about this anywhere else and came across it while going 
through some news sites looking for information. If you ever do that (head 
to a news site be it CNN, MSN, Juno, the NY Times, the Oregonian, or what 
have you) play this fun game that I do once a week or so.

Use your browser's "find" function to see if the words "Iraq," 
"Afghanistan," "Syria," "ISIS" (or "Islamic State") show up on the main 
page. You'll be surprised how often they do not even though the US 
continues its nearly 26-year-old war in the first country, 15 years in the 
second, and 2.5 years with the next two entities.

Let me know what you find out. 
--dan h
peace and justice works
The Supreme Court Case that Could Seriously Impact a Trump Presidency
    Nov 30, 2016 · by Arun Venugopal

    In January, during the same week that Donald Trump is to be
    inaugurated, the Supreme Court will hear a case centered on the
    detentions of Muslim men in the months after 9/11, and whether
    government officials can be held personally accountable for
    constitutional violations.

    As it happens, the outcome of this case could help determine whether
    President-elect Trump goes forward with his most controversial national
    security proposals.

    The case stems from the immediate aftermath of the World Trade Center
    attacks: federal authorities investigating the attacks rounded up
    hundreds of Arab, Muslim and South Asian men and placed them in
    detention facilities, primarily in Brooklyn and New Jersey. Some were
    detained as long as eight months, said attorney Rachel Meeropol of the
    Center for Constitutional Rights, often based on anonymous tips.

    "Examples of these tips included people calling the FBI hotline after
    9/11 and saying, 'My neighbor's Arab and he keeps strange hours. I
    think he might be a terrorist,'" said Meeropol.

    Many say they were assaulted while in custody, allegations essentially
    upheld by a [47]Department of Justice report. But Meeropol said none of
    these 762 detainees were ever charged with terrorism. She's now
    representing eight of them in a class-action suit: it argues that
    members of the Bush administration, including former Attorney General
    John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller, oversaw a program that
    failed to distinguish potential terrorists from people who'd simply
    overstayed their visas.

    Anji Malhotra, a law professor at SUNY Buffalo, said the outcome could
    determine whether President-elect Trump is able to move forward on some
    of his most controversial proposals, like a national Muslim registry or

    "This case is of paramount importance because we're in another era
    where our president-elect is invoking national security to justify
    extremely dangerous and unprecedented tactics that specifically target
    Muslims, target Mexicans, that target people based on race and

    An appellate court [48]ruled in favor of the plaintiffs last year, but
    in her dissent, Judge Reena Raggi argued that 9/11 granted government
    officials significant latitude and protections.

    "Congress, not the judiciary, is the appropriate branch to decide
    whether the detained aliens should be allowed to sue executive
    policymakers in their individual capacities for money damages," wrote

    However, the plaintiffs may find the makeup of the Supreme Court
    another challenge: Justices Kagan and Sotomayor, both part of the
    so-called liberal wing, have recused themselves, meaning that only six
    justices will decide this case.

    "The stakes couldn't be higher," said Amna Akbar, a law professor at
    Ohio State University. "It's time for the Court to say enough is
    enough. The specter of national security should not be enough to throw
    out the rule of law, to step on and scapegoat already-marginalized
    communities with impunity."
43. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/news/news20161129_cms687745_pod.mp3
   47. https://oig.justice.gov/special/0306/full.pdf
   48. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/osg/briefs/2016/06/01/15-1359_ashcroft_v._turkmen_pet._app.pdf

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