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