Supreme Court declines to hear Guantanamo prisoner cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday denied certiorari [order list, PDF] in seven different cases dealing with Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] detainees. The court's refusal to hear the cases preserves the decisions of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, including the case of Latif v. Obama [docket; cert. petition] in which the court ruled [JURIST report] that the government's evidence should be given a presumption of accuracy unless the defendant can establish otherwise. The DC Circuit's ruling overturned a release order [JURIST report] for Yemeni Guantanamo detainee Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif [NYT profile]. The court declined to hear six other appeals from Guantanamo prisoners whose continued detention was upheld by the DC Circuit: Al-Madhwani v. Obama, Al-Alwi v. Obama, Al-Bihani v. Obama, Uthman v. Obama, Almerfedi v. Obama, and Al-Kandari v. Obama [dockets].

Also Monday the court declined to hear the appeal of US citizen and convicted terrorist Jose Padilla [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] challenging the dismissal [JURIST report] of his lawsuit against US officials for allegedly illegally detaining him at a military jail in South Carolina. In Lebron v. Rumsfeld [docket; cert. petition], Padilla argued that the Defense Department's methods of detaining him as an "enemy combatant" were unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which pursued Padilla's case, expressed disappointment [press release] with the court's denial of certiorari, saying: "The Supreme Court's refusal to consider Jose Padilla's case leaves in place a blank check for government officials to commit any abuse in the name of national security, even the brutal torture of an American citizen in an American prison." The Fourth Circuit, in upholding the dismissal of the initial suit, held that Padilla could not use a lawsuit seeking monetary damages to review an issue involving national security and that the judiciary was not the proper forum to rule on the legislature-adopted policies responsible for his detention. Padilla was arrested in 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and thereafter detained as an enemy combatant. He was convicted on terrorism charges in 2007 and sentenced [JURIST reports] to 17 years in prison.

 

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