Padilla, et al. v. Yoo, No. 09-16478 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
After the September 11, 2011 attacks, the government detained plaintiff, an American citizen, as an enemy combatant. Plaintiff alleged that he was held incommunicado in military detention, subjected to coercive interrogation techniques and detained under harsh conditions of confinement, all in violation of his constitutional and statutory rights. Plaintiff and his mother sued John Yoo, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) from 2001 to 2003, alleging that they suffered from plaintiff's unlawful detention. The court held that, under recent Supreme Court law, Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, the court was compelled to conclude that, regardless of the legality of plaintiff's detention and the wisdom of Yoo's judgments, at the time he acted the law was not "sufficiently clear that every reasonable official would have understood that what he [wa]s doing violated[d]" plaintiff's rights. Therefore, the court held that Yoo must be granted qualified immunity and accordingly reversed the decision of the district court.