- Professor Thomas Folsom, Regent 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 will join us to discuss the oral argument of this case, which was held on January 18.
In the summer of 2015, the Federalist Society lost a great friend with the passing of Professor Michael W. Lewis. Professor Lewis was a veteran, a scholar, and a loving father and husband. His specialties were in the areas of the law of armed conflict and International Humanitarian Law. Last year, the Mike Lewis Memorial Teleforum focused on the U.S. Department of Defense Law of War Manual. This year, our experts will discuss the White House Report on the Use of Force.
In December 2016, the Obama Administration released a comprehensive report on the "legal and policy frameworks" governing the use of military force. The report sets forth the Obama Administration's view of the domestic and international legal bases for military operations against terrorist groups; the law of armed conflict and targeting in those operations; detention; civilian casualties; interrogation; and other related issues. This Teleforum will analyze the document's description of the applicable law, but will also consider why the Obama Administration chose to release this unusual document at this point and what effect (if any) it will have on policy and practice going forward.