On April 16, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted Guantanamo detainee and alleged USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed al-Nashiri’s petition for a writ of mandamus and vacated all orders issued by former military judge Col. Vance Spath during a 28-month period on account of Spath’s failure to disqualify himself due to an apparent conflict of interest.
Sarah Grant is a graduate of Harvard Law School and previously spent five years on active duty in the Marine Corps. She holds an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and a BS in International Relations from the United States Naval Academy. The views expressed here are her own and do not reflect those of the Department of Defense, the Marine Corps, or any other agency of the United States Government.
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Note: The Defense Department has issued a directive implementing the department's policy, effective April 12, 2019.
On Feb. 25, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral argument in Force v. Facebook, a case about whether Facebook can be held liable for the use of its platform to coordinate and encourage violent attacks by users linked to Hamas.
On Feb. 22, a federal judge in the Southern District of Texas ruled that it is unconstitutional for the government to require only men to register for the draft.
Last Week at the Military Commissions: Defense Teams Assert Conflict in Session Cut Short by Medical Emergency
On Jan. 28 and 29, the military commission in United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, et al. (the 9/11 military commission) reconvened for pretrial proceedings, picking up from its November sitting. The session was scheduled to last for a week but was cut short on Tuesday due to a medical emergency on the part of the military judge, Col. Keith Parrella.
The military commission trying alleged al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi reconvened from Jan. 7-14, after a break in proceedings beginning in November 2018. The bulk of the session focused on Hadi’s medical status and accommodations being made to enable his participation in proceedings, and the commission heard testimony from Hadi’s neurosurgeon, the camp senior medical officer (SMO), and the commander of the Joint Detention Group (JDG).
This morning, the Supreme Court granted stays of two district court preliminary injunctions in Trump v. Karnoski and Trump v. Stockman, which had blocked implementation of the Trump administration’s ban on military service by transgender people. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan would have denied the stay.