Detainee Challenges Constitutionality of NDAA Transfer Restrictions

By Lauren Bateman
Saturday, August 17, 2013, 6:32 AM
Yesterday, Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Adnan Ajam filed a motion for partial summary judgment and for declaratory relief in his habeas suit before the D.C. District Court.
Ajam's case takes a new approach to Guantanamo habeas litigation: Ajam challenges Section 1028 of the National Defense Authorization Act---the section which imposes detainee transfer restrictions on the President---as an unconstitutional Congressional intrusion into plenary Presidential foreign policy power.

Using his powers as Commander-in-Chief, the President directed military force at Petitioner by detaining him at the Naval Station in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. After the President later decided to desist from the use of that force against Petitioner, Congress unconstitutionally interfered with his exercise of the power to desist from that force. Its interference has hampered the exercise of the President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief and intruded upon his control of foreign affairs. By placing requirements and limitations upon the President’s discretion to desist in the exercise of military force, and by addressing the nature and conduct of transferee nations and imposing requirements for other countries’ cooperation with the United States, Section 1028 interferes with the President’s targeting authority as Commander-in-Chief, under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, and his authority over sensitive diplomatic negotiations with other countries.

For Ben's earlier coverage of this argument, see his post on Ajam's July 10th filing, which sought leave to make public an earlier document seeking to amend Ajam's habeas petition.