Good News for Maher Arar?

Arar is the innocent Canadian we kidnapped at JFK and sent to Syria for torture under the “extraordinary rendition” program. He sued, but his suit got quashed by the district court on state secrets grounds, and that dismissal was upheld by a subset of the 2nd Circuit.

Now the 2nd Circuit has decided, on its own, to rehear the case en banc.

Now here comes the unexpected part: the 2nd circuit has announced that it will reconsider the case en banc, which means all the judges on the appeals court will hear it and vote on it. What makes this truly surprising is that Arar’s attorney didn’t ask for it; the court granted the rehearing sua sponte, on its own. That is extraordinarily rare. It suggests that there were a number of judges on the circuit who agitated for the rehearing because they believe it was wrongly decided.

Sure would be nice if some folks actually met consequences for what they’ve done to Arar, and what they’ve done to our nation.

Update: Frank chimes in with a link to the actual order.

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