San Francisco, Calif. — December 12, 2016 was a historic day, marking the first time that a U.S. court heard argument related to the actions of senior Bush-era officials who were responsible for the planning and waging of the Iraq War.
Circuit court judges Andrew Hurwitz and Susan Graber and District Court judge Richard Boulware (sitting by designation on the 9th Circuit), heard argument that the immunity granted to former President George W. Bush and other officials by the federal district court related to their conduct in waging the Iraq War should be overturned. This immunity was provided in December 2014, resulting in the current appeal.
The judges spent most of oral argument focusing on the nature of the domestic immunity, questioning both counsel for the Iraqi plaintiff, Sundus Saleh, as well as counsel for the United States about where immunity ends for government officials.
The judges will issue their opinion as to whether the immunity should be overturned in the coming weeks.