That’s the outcome of orders from the Supreme Court today, an across-the-board denial of review in seven Guantanamo habeas cases: Latif, Al-Bihani, Uthman, Almerfedi, Al-Kandari, Al-Madhwani, and Al-Alwi. For good measure, the Court also voted not to take up Lebron v. Rumsfeld, in which the Fourth Circuit had rejected a Bivens action by Jose Padilla. No dissents from these denials were noted in today’s order.
There are plenty of theories to go with those tea leaves, and we’ll have more on the significance of the Court’s action shortly. But in the meantime, suffice it to say that today’s move does not imply urgent concern on the justices’ part, regarding the challenged substantive and procedural rulings by the D.C. Circuit. Take, for example, that court’s judgment that suspicious associations and travel patterns alone may justify detention under the AUMF, even when the detainee has not fought for or received training from al-Qaeda; or that intelligence reports, crafted in the fog of war, are entitled to a presumption of regularity.