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May 21, 2010

Temporary Sanity...Appeals Court Rules That Detainees In Afghanistan Don't Have Right To Challenge Detention In US Courts

It's amazing we've gotten to the point where this is even an issue.

In a major victory for the Obama Administration’s detention policy, the D.C. Circuit Court ruled on Friday that foreign nationals held at a U.S. military prison at Bagram airbase outside of Kabul, Afghanistan, do not have a right to challenge in U.S. courts their continued imprisonment. The ruling overturned a federal judge’s decision that the Supreme Court’s ruling two years ago allowing habeas challenges by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay extends to Bagram, at least for non-Afghan foreign nationals captured outside of Afghanistan and taken there for detention. The three-judge panel was unanimous in Maqaleh, et al., v. Gates (Circuit docket 09-5265). The issue is likely to be taken to the Supreme Court by detainees’ lawyers, but review there is no certainty.

...On the one hand, it rejected the government argument that Boumediene had adopted a bright-line rule that habeas never extends to another country where the U.S. has a military facility, unless it is like Guantanamo Bay where the U.S. has the factual equivalent of national sovereignty. But it also rejected an argument by Bagram detainees’ lawyers that habeas extends to a U.S. military base overseas if the U.S. in fact has control of the facility and its management. Neither of those positions, Judge Sentelle wrote, squared with what the Supreme Court actually decided in Boumediene.

I'm glad there's some sanity in the federal judiciary on detainee maters. We'll see if it extends all the way up to the Supreme Court.

About SCOTUS, it'll be interesting to see how much Kagan will talk about these things. Liberals are worried she'll be too deferential to the executive. If it pans out (and that's 50/50 at best), she'll be a welcomed improvement over Stevens in at least that area.

Late Addition: As commenters have pointed out the "major victory for the Obama Administration’s detention policy" is pretty funny. I wonder if Gibbs will graciously admit that they inherited this from the previous administration? Yeah, I'm not holding my breath either.

My defense for not calling that out originally is the cable guy was here fixing my modem. Nice enough fellow but how come the 'cable guy' is never a hot 'cable gal'?


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posted by DrewM. at 02:11 PM

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