Detention & Guantanamo

Al-Amyn Sumar on Latif and the Presumption of Regularity

By Benjamin Wittes
Friday, June 29, 2012, 7:55 AM

The Harvard Law Review has published this article on the Latif decision as its presumption of regularity by a student named Al-Amyn Sumar. The article is dated in two important respects--first, that it argues for cert that was denied just before its publication and second, that it is based on the initial, heavily-redacted version of a the Latif opinion, whereas a more fulsome version is now available. Its basic thesis is:

The considerable redactions in the court’s opinion in Latif permit little more than tentative conclusions, but based on the available text, the decision is both important and troubling. In particular, the adoption of a presumption of regularity is at odds with both doctrine and policy. And though in theory the presumption extends only to the government’s statements in intelligence reports, in practice it may amount to a wholesale presumption of accuracy for the government’s evidence. The Supreme Court should overturn Latif and use the opportunity to give substance to Boumediene’s “meaningful opportunity” command.

The blog D.C. Circuit Review has published this bizarre little post in response to the article.