A NY Times article, Judge Allows Civil Lawsuit Over Claims of Torture, reports that Judge Jeffrey S. White, of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, has issued a 42 page opinion permitting a law suit on torture. The judge denied a motion to dismiss Jose Padilla’s lawsuit against former Justice Department lawyer John C. Yoo who wrote memos on interrogation, detention and presidential powers for the department’s Office of Legal Counsel from 2001 to 2003. The ruling states that the convicted terrorist can sue the Bush administration lawyer for drafting the legal theories that led to his alleged torture. The order is the first instance where a Bush administration lawyer has been held potentially liable for the abuse of detainees.
Padilla, a 38 year old Brooklyn born convert to Islam, is serving a 17-year sentence on terrorism charges who has claimed that he was tortured while being held nearly four years as a suspect.
Links to the Complaint was filed in the Northern District of California in January 2008 (Docket No. 08-cv-00035) are available on PACER and the Justia Federal Documents website. Judge White’s Order-Granting-in-part-and-Denying-in-Part-Defendents-Motion-to-Dismiss is available on the Scribd a website where more than 60 million people each month share original writings and documents.