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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

“Guantanamo day” at the Court

A post on SCOTUS blog entitled "'Guantanamo Day' at the Court," discusses the Supreme Court's schedule to review four separate Guantanamo cases at its Conference last Friday, April 1. According to SCOTUS blog, each of the cases involves a legal complaint that the D.C. Circuit Court is failing to follow the Supreme Court’s lead in assuring those held by the U.S. military a “meaningful” chance to challenge their ongoing confinement, and if they win, a real chance to be released. 

The Obama Administration has argued  that the lower courts are doing exactly what the Supreme Court gave them the authority to do — and that none of the results they have reached is worth the Court’s time.

The blog notes:

"If it should turn out that the Court refuses to review any of the new cases — and that is certainly possible, especially if Justice Elena Kagan takes herself out of all four because of her prior role in detainee cases as U.S. Solicitor General — the practical result would be that control of the law of detention would shift significantly to the White House and to Congress, with a sharply diminished role for the judiciary.  That would mark a basic change, since the Court, beginning in 2004, had issued a string of decisions overturning actions by the political branches that had narrowed, or flatly denied, the legal rights of Guantanamo detainees."

According to the blog, the outcomes in the lower courts have led detainees’ lawyers to press the Supreme Court to do two things: "first, to spell out further what it meant in 2008 in granting them a constitutional right to pursue a habeas challenge in a U.S. court, and, second, to stop, or at least to slow down, the trend of rejections of detainee claims in the Circuit Court."

As noted on the blog, and re-posted here, the cases are as follows: the case on judges’ power to order release is Kiyemba, et al., v. Obama, et al., docket 10-775, informally known as ” Kiyemba III.”  The documents in that case are here.  The test of the role of international law is Al Bihani v. Obama, et al. (10-7814); documents here.  And the two cases testing habeas procedures are Al-Odah v. U.S. (10-439); documents here, and Awad v. Obama, et al, (10-736); documents here

For the full text of Lyle Denniston's blog post, click here

April 4, 2011 Update:

SCOTUS blog reports in a post entitled "D.C. Circuit in Control on Detainees," that "The Supreme Court on Monday sent its clearest signal yet that it is at least strongly hesitant, if not entirely unwillingly, to second-guess how the D.C. Circuit Court fashions the law of detention of individuals by the U.S. militaryIn brief, unexplained orders, the Court refused to review three separate petitions that sought to challenge the procedures that the Circuit Court has embraced as lower courts implement the Justices’ 2008 decision inBoumediene v. Bush — the basic decision that gave Guantanamo detainees a right to go to court to contest their ongoing imprisonment.  There were no noted dissents from any of the three denials."

For the full text of the post, click here

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