Friday, June 29, 2007

SCOTUS Changes Mind, Will Hear Gitmo Detainee Case After All

In a surprising and rare move, the SCOTUS ended their last week (which was not absent of doosies handing down significant decisions on both the death penalty and affirmative action), with a doosie. The Court, which had previously refused to grant cert in the Gitmo detainee habeas cases in April (previous post), today changed course and decided to grant cert.

06-1195 ) BOUMEDIENE, LAKHDAR, ET AL. V. BUSH PRESIDENT OF U.S., ET AL. ) 06-1196 ) AL ODAH, KHALED A. F., ET AL. V UNITED STATES, ET AL. The petitions for rehearing are granted. The orders entered April 2, 2007, denying the petitions for writs of certiorari are vacated. The petitions for writs of certiorari are granted. The cases are consolidated and a total of one hour is allotted for oral argument. As it would be of material assistance to consult any decision in Bismullah, et al., v. Gates, No. 06-1197, and Parhat, et al., v. Gates, No. 06-1397,
currently pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, supplemental briefing will be scheduled upon the issuance of any decision in those cases.
One news article guesses that it was one particular affidavit filed last week that made the difference.
An Army reserve officer and lawyer who played a key role in the enemy combatant hearings at Guantanamo Bay says tribunal members relied on vague and incomplete intelligence while being pressured to rule against detainees, often without any specific evidence. The officer's affidavit, submitted to the Supreme Court last Friday, is the first criticism by a member of the military panels that determine whether detainees will continue to be held.
From Yahoo News.
If this is the information that changed their minds (meaning Kennedy and Stevens), there might still be hope. But it's going to be a while. I'm sure this comes as only mild reassurance to those detainees who have been at Gitmo for over five years now.


I just learned over at Abovethelaw that this is the first time in SIXTY YEARS that they've changed their mind on granting cert. Wow.

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