Appeals court rules against Ashcroft in 9/11 case

A federal appeals court has ruled that former attorney general John Ashcroft may be held liable for people who were wrongfully detained as material witnesses after the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks.

In a harshly worded ruling handed down today, a three-judge panel of the 9th US circuit court of appeals called the US government's use of material witnesses after September 11 "repugnant to the Constitution and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history".

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