Yesterday, Ali Hamza Al Bahlul filed his reply brief on cert in Bahlul v. U.S., which challenges the retroactive designation of conspiracy as a war crime in military commissions. Here's the brief:
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The government has filed a brief opposing the cert petition in Bahlul v. United States.
Counsel for Ali Hamza Suliman al Bahlul have filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court appealing the October 2016 ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of the District of Columbia.
The Lawfare Podcast once again brings you coverage of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling in the al-Bahlul case.
A summary overview of the recent DC Circuit decision in Al Bahlul.
In an en banc decision, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Ali Hamza al-Bahlul's conviction for conspiracy to commit war crimes.
Lawfare's Alex Loomis has a fascinating new paper up on SSRN about the scope of Congress's Article I power to "define and punish . . . Offences against the Law of Nations." But it's important to stress what Alex's article does not answer: Although Jack has suggested that Alex's analysis is relevant to the ongoing D.C. Circuit litigation in Al Bahlul over the constitutional powerof Guantánamo military commissions to try offenses like inchoate conspiracy, it goes only to the Article I question presented therein--whether Congress has the power to define inchoate conspiracy as an offense against the law of nations, as it has done in 10 U.S.C. § 950t(29). A wholly separate question--which Alex's paper does not seek to answer (see, e.g., footnote 357)--is whether Article III nevertheless prohibits a military, as opposed to civilian, court from trying the offense. As this post explains, there are compelling reasons why Congress should receive less deference in that context.
Last Friday's D.C. Circuit ruling in the Khadr case provides yet another striking illustration of how misbegotten an experiment the Court of Military Commission Review has turned out to be. As this post explains, not only does the CMCR suffer from inherent structural flaws that the political branches seem uninterested in fixing, but its substantive role in the military commission process has turned out to be not only woefully inefficient, but affirmatively counter-productive from both the government's and the defendants' perspectives. Simply put, the CMCR has become an object lesson in how not to create new non-Article III federal courts — and an expensive one, at that.
The government responds to the National Institute of Military Justice amicus on Councilman abstention in Nashiri.
Surprise! The full D.C. Circuit will hear the Al Bahlul military commission appeal.