Friday, December 27, 2002

BBC NEWS -- US Muslims' lawsuit suffers setback

The US Justice Department has declared that a massive lawsuit filed after the detention of hundreds of Muslim men in the Los Angeles area can only be heard by the Supreme Court.

Four US-Muslim groups had filed the suit in a Los Angeles district court to protest against a controversial round-up last week of men from Arab and Muslim nations without permanent residency status.

The lawsuit seeks a block on further such detentions by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

But Justice Department lawyers said the federal district court had no jurisdiction to review decisions carried out by the body.

That power is reserved for the Supreme Court, the lawyers argued.

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