Iqbal claims Ashcroft and Mueller formulated policies that singled him out because of his nationality and religion. Most of the justices who spoke appeared sympathetic to the government’s argument in favor of dismissal, report the Los Angeles Times and Legal Times. Only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David H. Souter spoke in favor of allowing the suit.
One of those appearing to side with the government was Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who advanced the mouse-in-a-bottle hypothetical. Breyer explained the hypo this way, according to a separate Legal Times story:
"Jones sues the president of Coca-Cola. His claim is the president personally put a mouse in the bottle. Now, he has no reason for thinking that. Then his lawyer says: 'OK, I'm now going to take seven depositions of the president of Coca-Cola.' The president of Coca-Cola says: 'You know, I don't have time for this; there is no basis. ... I don't want to go and spend the time to answer questions.' "
Breyer asked if the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure would allow dismissal. Solicitor General Gregory Garre said the suit could be tossed under Rule 8. He noted the Supreme Court 2007 decision in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, which interpreted the rule as requiring plaintiffs to “show a plausible entitlement to relief."