On May 18th, 2009 the Supreme Court announced its decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal. In this case, the Court considered whether FBI Director Robert Mueller and former Attorney General John Ashcroft are entitled to qualified immunity against allegations that they knew of or condoned racial and religious discrimination against individuals detained in the wake of the September 11th attacks. In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Kennedy, the Court held that Iqbal pled insufficient facts to show that petitioners Ashcroft and Mueller implemented their policies for the purpose of discrimination. Furthermore, the Court stated that the Second Circuit should decide in the first instance whether to remand to the District Court to allow Iqbal leave to amend his deficient complaint.
To discuss the decision, we have New York University School of Law Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering Jodi S. Balsam.