BY MERRIT KENNEDY
The Supreme Court has ruled that six men detained after the September 11 attacks are not legally able to sue top officials from the Bush administration.
The men, who are of Arab or South Asian descent and in the U.S. illegally, were detained with hundreds of others and held for periods of between three and six months at a federal facility in Brooklyn, according to the opinion. Five are Muslim.
The men say they were subject to harsh condition and physical abuse in detention. For example: “Guards allegedly slammed detainees into walls; twisted their arms, wrists and fingers; broke their bones; referred to them as terrorists; threatened them with violence; subjected them to humiliating sexual comments; and insulted their religion.”
They sued seeking damages and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that the lawsuit could proceed. But the Supreme Court said the former detainees are not able to hold top Bush administration officials personally liable for constitutional violations. The officials named in the case include former Attorney General John Ashcroft and former FBI Director Robert Mueller. The case is Ziglar v Abbasi.