Thursday, December 11th, 2008 | Author:

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Javaid Iqbal, a Muslim arrested a couple months after 9/11, and held for six months in solitary confinement. CNN tells us:

Iqbal was never charged with any terrorism offenses, although he was convicted of fraud for having false papers and eventually deported nearly six years ago.

Iqbal later filed a series of lawsuits against top Bush officials alleging he was beaten by guards during his six-month detention in solitary confinement, and that officials personally condoned isolating Muslim and Arab immigrants in a Brooklyn prison wing.

One of the issues in this case is whether former Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller are subject to discovery, or pre-trial depositions.

I think we all have an instinctive understanding of justice and injustice. Principles and laws should be applied equally to everyone, regardless of their position in life, or their religion, or their sex. As we put it in this neck of the woods, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. So we know that justice in this case should be available to Ashcroft and Mueller … and to Iqbal.


The government said a ruling in the Iqbal case would be a “blueprint” in the future for establishing a “plausible” argument of wrongdoing before top officials could be subject to civil liability.

The government has spoken truth in this statement. What they need to do next is apply this same principle of “a plausible argument of wrongdoing” to every other person who stands on American soil. Not only should this principle protect Ashcroft and Mueller from civil liability, it should protect all of us from arbitrary arrest, home invasions, and search and seizure.

It won’t work that way, though. The American scales of justice are now precariously tipped in favor of the government.

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