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Goodbye, Guantanamo?
Posted by: Dale Franks on Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Supreme Court, in a bit of a surprise move, granted cert on the DC Circuit court cases that essentially stripped Guantanamo bay detainees of access to the Federal Courts for habeas corpus petitions. In April, the Court declined to the review the cases on procedural grounds, but now has accepted the cases for review in the next term, which begins on 1 October.

This may be a sign that a majority on the Court is inclined to allow Guantanamo detainees to present habeas petitions to the Federal Courts, especially when the makeup of the cert grant voting is considered.
Under the Court's Rules and precedents, it would have taken the votes of five Justices to grant rehearing, compared with the requirement of four votes to initially grant an appeal. When the Court denied review in April, only three Justices voted to hear the cases. But two of the other six, Justices John Paul Stevens and Anthony M. Kennedy, indicated they wanted the detainees to first attempt to get legal relief in the D.C. Circuit. Under the Detainee Treatment Act, the Circuit Court has the authority to provide limited review of military decisions to continue holding Guantanamo prisoners as "enemy combatants."

Friday's order was an indication that those two Justices had decided that the Court needed to change its approach, and so provided the votes needed to grant rehearing.
There could very well be a five-person majority for majority for allowing the detainees to have habeas petitions heard. Also implicit in this decision is whether or not the whole structure of the detainee tribunals is in question.

So, one has to ask if this means, at the end of the day, that Guantanamo will be shut down, and the detainees shipped to some other location where accessing the Federal courts will be more problematic.
 
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My tea leaves seem to think they may be bringing this up to shoot it down...so to speak...

 
Written By: Khepri
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My vote for someplace more difficult would be six feet under. These are, after all, ununiformed enemy combatants in violation of the Geneva Convention.
 
Written By: MarkD
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