- Professor Robert Turner, Virginia Law
Ziglar v. Abbasi is the result of over a decade of remands and appeals. The case was originally filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of incarcerated Muslim, South Asian, and Arab non-citizens who were targeted after 9/11 by law enforcement as “terrorism suspects.” The defendants in the case, high level officials in the Bush administration, such as Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI director Robert Mueller, and low level detention officials, filed a motion to dismiss which was rejected by the in the District Court.
In 2009, the Supreme Court decided in Ashcroft v. Iqbal that government officials were not liable for discriminatory actions of their subordinates without evidence they directly ordered the actions. Meanwhile, five of the petitioners in Ziglar settled with the government, and the case was remanded to the District Court and amended. In 2010, the District Court granted a new motion of dismissal, but only for the high level officials. This dismissal was reversed by the Second Circuit and then the government petitioned the Supreme Court for review.
Professor Jamil Jaffer joined us to discuss the oral argument of this case, which was held on January 18.
Can federal officials be held liable personally for enforcing the “hold until clear” policy following the attacks on 9/11? Jamil Jaffer, Director of the Homeland and National Security Law Program at the Antonin Scalia Law School, explains the dispute in the upcoming Supreme Court Case Ashcroft v. Abbasi. Questions before the Court include whether a group of individuals who were arrested immediately after 9/11 have standing to bring a Bivens claim for violation of their constitutional rights, whether the federal officials enforcing the policy are entitled to qualified immunity, and whether the officials acted based on racial discrimination or a concern for national security. The Supreme Court will hear oral argument on January 18th.
Justice Scalia's originalism had an important impact on our nation's criminal law. While sometimes overlooked, his commitment to the rights of criminal defendants, as rooted in the Constitution, is indisputable. He forthrightly addressed new Fourth Amendment issues including technological advances in surveillance, revived the Sixth Amendment's jury and confrontation clauses, remained mindful of both common law and substantive criminal law concerns, and in many instances swayed his fellow justices. This panel will delve into these areas and discuss if and how Justice Scalia's work will continue to affect future Court decisions.
This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC.
Criminal Law: Justice Scalia and the Criminal Law
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Mayflower Hotel
October 4th will mark the first day of oral arguments for the 2016 Supreme Court term. The Court's docket already includes major cases involving insider trading, the Fourth Amendment, the Sixth Amendment, the Eighth Amendment, criminal law, IP and patent law, the Free Exercise and Equal Protection Clauses, the Fair Housing Act, and voting rights.
The full list of cases granted thus far for the upcoming term can be viewed on SCOTUSblog here. The panelists will also discuss the current composition and the future of the Court.
This event was held on September 27, 2016, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
National Press Club