[JURIST] Up to one-fourth of US Department of Justice civil appellate lawyers are refusing to represent the government on the appeals of detainees from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], according to a story [text] in US News & World Report. A February court ruling [JURIST report] upholding the Military Commissions Act (MCA) [PDF text; JURIST news archive] put all Guantanamo detainee appeals under the jurisdiction of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, requiring the 56 lawyers in the appellate division to represent the government against the approximately 130 detainees awaiting appeal.
Sources told US News that as many as one-fourth of the lawyers have refused to participate since the court ruling in February because they disagree with the government's legal arguments. The DOJ has no formal structure allowing lawyers to refuse to take a legal position they disagree with, and it is unclear what course of action the DOJ will take. UPI has more.