Guantanamo: Litigation

Peter Margulies on Uthman

By Benjamin Wittes
Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 7:37 AM

Peter Margulies of Roger Williams University School of Law offers the following brief comment on yesterday's D.C. Circuit opinion in Uthman, about which I wrote about here:

The case is a victory for common sense.  Ironically, we could have had the same result in 2003 or 2004, if the Bush administration hadn't viewed judicial review as antithetical to effective counterterrorism policy.  As Jack has suggested, by taking an extreme position, the Bush admin allowed detainee advocates' misadventure theory of detainee status ("My client was just in the wrong place at the wrong time") to seize elite imagination. Folks who did their homework are not surprised that the misadventure thesis was just as inaccurate as Rumsfeld's "worst of the worst" description. But somehow, I fear that media portrayals of the scorecard will take a while to catch up.