The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has permitted a lawsuit against former Attorney General John Ashcroft to proceed, said lawsuit brought by an Muslim-American citizen of this country who contended that his detention on purported "material witness" grounds violated his civil rights; needless to say, the plaintiff, was never charged with a crime, and never asked to testify in anyone else's criminal proceeding, though he was detained, and claims that it resulted in loss of employment and loss of his marriage.
The Ninth Circuit, widely regarded as the nation's most liberal federal appeals court, has often been ahead of most of the country on this issues. Will the government appeal this to the Supreme Court? Would the Supreme Court touch this with a ten foot poll? Does anyone doubt that accusing someone of ties to terrorism for no God damned reason other than that they converted to Islam is an outrageous abuse, redressable by money damages in our courts? Don't answer that... I think a great number of American people do doubt that. To whom I say, either the law applies to everyone, or it applies to no one.
And at least I know that I feel better about living in a country where the law applies to everyone (even those who believe themselves above the law, such as former Attorney General Ashcroft.) I realize we don't live in such a country, but we can at least
pretend aspire to live in such a country. It makes me feel better, anyway.