Court Will Hear Ashcroft’s Appeal

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft will get his day in court. The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear an appeal from Ashcroft in a case concerning the Bush administration’s arrest and detention of Muslims and Arabs following the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. Abdullah al-Kidd, a Muslim convert who was arrested in 2003 in connection with the investigation of another man, wants to hold Ashcroft personally responsible for the damages after al-Kidd was investigated for 15 months and lost his job and separated from his wife. The American Civil Liberties Union estimates that 70 individuals were wrongly arrested as “material witnesses” in similar situations to al-Kidd’s. Lower courts have rejected Ashcroft’s defense that he should be shielded from any liability as the former attorney general.