Detention & Guantanamo

Amicus Briefs in Latif

By Raffaela Wakeman
Friday, March 23, 2012, 4:25 PM

Two new amicus briefs concerning the petition for a writ of certiorari in Latif. The first is on behalf of thirteen retired federal judges, who offer four main arguments:

    1. As This Court Recognized In Boumediene, Meaningful Habeas Review Is Essential To The Preservation Of Liberty And The Separation Of Powers.

    2. The Requirement That Habeas Review Be “Meaningful” And “Flexible” Mandates That Habeas Courts Have Discretion To Assess The Evidence Offered By The Government To Support Detention.

    3. In Implementing Boumediene, District Courts Have Unanimously Declined To Presume The Regularity Or Accuracy Of The Government’s Evidence.

    4. By Imposing A Presumption Of “Regularity” Or “Accuracy,” The D.C. Circuit Undermined The Great Writ And Boumediene.

The second brief is on behalf of former intelligence professionals and scholars of evidence and criminal procedure, who also argue on behalf of the petitioners. They make two principle arguments in support of granting certiorari--that the Court needs to review the Court of Appeals' granting of a  "presumption of regularity" to intelligence reports, and that the Court of Appeals' application of this presumption is in conflict with Boumediene's holding. Their conclusion summarizes their argument succinctly:

The court of appeals' ruling imposes a presumption of reliability on all early stage intelligence reports. That is irrational, unprecedented, and unjust. The ruling has farreaching consequences beyond this particular case. It has overturned the considered judgments of every experienced federal district court judge as to how such reports should be evaluated, and has severely undermined Boumediene. For all these reasons, amici submit the petition for certiorari should be granted. 

Read Latif's cert petition here. The government has received an extension on their response brief, originally due yesterday, through April 23.