CNN: Supreme Court rejects appeal over secret 9/11 detentions

The Supreme Court Monday allowed the government to keep secret information about hundreds of people rounded up under suspicion of terrorism in the months following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The justices without comment refused to accept an appeal bought by the Center for National Security Studies, a Washington, D.C., think tank representing Arab-American groups and some civil rights activists.


At issue in Monday’s ruling was the government’s refusal to release information on about 700 mostly Muslim- or Arab-Americans detained by federal authorities. Various media outlets including CNN filed a brief supporting public access to the information.

The center, the Center for National Security Studies, sued to learn names and other basic information about the detainees. The appeal raised constitutional questions under the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and legal questions under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

Most of the suspects were held by immigration authorities, and were investigated and questioned for possible terrorism connections. Nearly all were subsequently released, and some were eventually deported for various immigration violations.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.