Convicted terrorist Jose Padilla can't sue the Bush administration lawyer who helped craft the legal justification for torturing him—nor can any American citizen in the same predicament, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today. Padilla, an American citizen dubbed an "enemy combatant" in 2002, has been trying to sue John Yoo, the UC Berkeley professor who wrote the infamous "torture memo" advising the Bush administration that it had broad powers in detaining and interrogating terrorists, the LA Times reports.
Padilla says that during his three years in military custody he was kept in isolation, given psychotropic drugs, shackled for hours at a time, denied contact with a lawyer or his family, threatened with death, and even denied treatment for life-threatening medical conditions. But the court ruled that Yoo couldn't be held responsible. "That such treatment was torture was not clearly established in 2001-03," one judge wrote.