JUSTICE: Court Rules Bush Officials Can Be Sued For Their Illegal Post-9/11 Detentions

Are we finally on the verge of seeing justice brought against the Bush Administration for their illegal and shameful racial profiling against immigrants in post 9/11 America? The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals certainly thinks so. After more than a decade of legal litigation and limbo, the Court finally stepped up and issued a devastating blow to Bush officials who conducted months on end roundups and illegal detentions.

In their 109-page decision, the Court wrote that “We simply cannot conclude at this stage that concern for the safety of our nation justified the violation of the constitutional rights on which this nation was built.” The case is Turkmen v. Ashcroft.

Judges Rosemary Pooler and Richard Wesley were the deciding voices on the three-judge panel. Continuing, the judges wrote that they felt the government did indeed overstep their Constitutional authority:

“The question at this stage of the litigation is whether the [eight foreigners arrested on immigration charges] have plausibly pleaded that the [government officials] exceeded the bounds of the Constitution in the wake of 9/11. We believe they did.”

The dissenting judge, Reena Raggi, said Congress was the proper authority on the issue, not the judiciary, in her dissent.

The case came in 2002 after two men who were of Arab and Middle Eastern descent were held from three to eight months in New York and New Jersey for being “suspected terrorists” and other immigration issues such as an over stayed visa. The men contend that they were abused and profiled by prison guards and other authority figures. The judges agreed, saying:

“The Constitution defines the limits of the Defendants’ authority. Detaining individuals as if they were terrorists, in the most restrictive conditions of confinement available, simply because these individuals were, or appeared to be, Arab or Muslim exceeds those limits.”

In other words – the Constitution does not permit our government officials to profile, discriminate, or abuse people because of their racial, ethic or religious backgrounds on the grounds of “combating terrorism.”

The judges also tackled post 9/11 hysteria:

“The suffering endured by those who were imprisoned merely because they were caught up in the hysteria of the days immediately following 9/11 is not without a remedy.”

This decision by the 2nd Court of Appeals allows the lawsuit to go even further, and hopefully this will be the first official nail in taking down the stain on American history that is the Bush Administration. Sadly the lawsuit does not “take down” George W. Bush or Dick Cheney, but it des show the whole country the terrible things they let happen in their government.

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