Supreme Court declines challenge to military commission system

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] Monday turned back a number of cases brought before it for review, including the appeal [docket] of Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan [Trial Watch profile; JURIST news archive] challenging the constitutionality of the military commission system. Hamdan was allegedly a driver for Osama bin Laden before his capture and incarceration at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] and last year successfully challenged President George W. Bush's military commission system when the Supreme Court ruled [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that the commission system as initially constituted violated US and international law. Congress subsequently passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [JURIST news archive], but Hamdan argued that the current law still violates his rights. He had hoped the Supreme Court would consider his case along with those of other detainees challenging their detention at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report]. AP has more.

Other noteworthy rejections included:

  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany v. Dinallo [docket], in which Catholic Charities argued that a New York state law, which requires all employers to offer contraceptives as part of their employees' prescription benefits, violates the groups' First Amendment rights of freedom of religion. AP has more.

  • Faith Center Church v. Glover [docket], where Faith Center Church appealed a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision [opinion, PDF] permitting public libraries to prohibit religious groups from using the library space to hold religious services. AP has more.

  • R.J. Reynolds v. Engle [docket], in which tobacco companies challenged a Florida Supreme Court decision [opinion, PDF] that judicial findings in a dismissed class action lawsuit brought against tobacco companies could be used in later suits brought independently by former members of the class. The tobacco companies were appealing on the grounds that the conclusions of the state court were too general to be applied to individual cases. AP has more.
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