(CN) – Two months after its high court rebuke, the 9th Circuit on Wednesday said former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has immunity from the claims of a Muslim American detained for two weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Abdullah al-Kidd, an American student at the University of Idaho, claimed that his civil rights were violated when he was held as a material witness in 2003. He was arrested at the Dulles International Airport in Virginia while en route to Saudi Arabia, and held for 16 days in high-security units.
In a 2005 lawsuit, al-Kidd claimed Ashcroft’s policies unfairly targeted Muslim and Arab men, and that his arrest cost him a scholarship to study abroad.
In 2009, a two-judge majority of the 9th Circuit in Seattle rejected Ashcroft’s assertions that he enjoyed absolute immunity from the lawsuit.
The U.S. Supreme Court reversed in May, finding that Ashcroft had not violated a clearly established law. The 9th Circuit revised its opinion with a brief order Wednesday.
“Pursuant to the opinion of the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 131 S. Ct. 2074 (2011), the district court’s denial of defendant Ashcroft’s motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) is reversed, and the matter is remanded for proceedings consistent with the Supreme Court’s opinion,” the ruling states.