Supreme Court Will Hear Ashcroft's Request To Avoid Responsibility For Unlawful Arrests Of Muslims

10/18/2010 11:23 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will consider an appeal by former Attorney General John Ashcroft to throw out a lawsuit seeking to hold him personally responsible for improperly arresting a Muslim U.S. citizen after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The justices on Monday stepped into a dispute that, at its roots, concerns the Bush administration's aggressive moves against Muslims and Arabs in the United States following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Abdullah al-Kidd was one of at least 70 people detained under a law aimed at insuring that witnesses would be available to appear in court and testify at trial, according to a study by civil liberties groups. Like many others, al-Kidd, a former University of Idaho student, was never called to testify before a grand jury or in open court and was not charged with a crime.