Monday, May 18, 2009

SCOTUS Decides Ashcroft v. Iqbal

The Supreme Court has issued its opinion in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, deciding that Iqbal's complaint failed to plead sufficient facts to state a claim for purposeful and unlawful discrimination by government officials. Here is an excerpt from the Syllabus:

"Iqbal’s pleadings do not comply with Rule 8 under Twombly. Several of his allegations—that petitioners agreed to subject him to harsh conditions as a matter of policy, solely on account of discriminatory factors and for no legitimate penological interest; that Ashcroft was that policy’s “principal architect”; and that Mueller was “instrumental” in its adoption and execution—are conclusory and not entitled to be assumed true. Moreover, the factual allegations that the FBI, under Mueller, arrested and detained thousands of Arab Muslim men, and that he and Ashcroft approved the detention policy, do not plausibly suggest that petitioners purposefully discriminated on prohibited grounds."

The Court's opinion and the dissents by Justice Souter and Justice Breyer can be viewed at


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