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 sitting en banc.
Latest in Al-Bahlul v. United States
The D.C. Circuit’s En Banc Decision in Bahlul: Sui Generis or Guidance for Future Military Commissions?
The en banc D.C. Circuit’s affirmance of the military commission conviction of Ali Hamza al Bahlul for conspiracy (see Lawfare’s summary here) solidifies the legitimacy of commissions in U.S. counterterrorism law and policy. As President Obama put it in his 2009 National Archives speech, commissions have played a role in U.S. armed conflicts since the Revolutionary War.
Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul is a Yemeni citizen, currently held in Guantanamo Bay, who was convicted in a military commission under the 2006 Military Commissions Act for “inchoate conspiracy” to commit war crimes. After several rounds of judicial review, a D.C. Circuit panel in 2015 heard a challenge to his conviction on Article I and Article III grounds.
As Jack noted earlier this morning, Lawfare's Alex Loomis has a fascinating new paper up on SSRN (for the moment, anyway) about the scope of Congress's Article I power to "define and punish . . .
The brief was submitted to the D.C. Circuit yesterday, by the Guantanamo detainee's lawyers. We thus await decision from the appeals court as to whether it will order en banc rehearing in this long-running military commissions case.
It almost certainly won't, in my view—but we'll see soon enough.
The government's (second) rehearing petition apparently was filed today in this long-running military commissions case. Offhand, it's not clear to me how the government can prevail---but we'll see.
I take issue with two recent critiques of the Guantanamo military commissions, both arising from a D.C. Circuit panel’s reversal, earlier this month, of the conviction by military commission of Ali al-Bahlul (an al Qaeda jihadist and detainee who had served in bin Laden’s inner circle) for conspiracy to commit war crimes.
On this week’s Lawfare Podcast, Managing Editor Wells Bennett invited Steve Vladeck of both Lawfare and Just Security, and Adam Thurschwell, an attorney with the Office of the Chief Defense Counsel of the Military Commissions, into the Lawfare studio to discuss the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Al Bahlul v. USA.
As I explained on Sunday, one way to understand the diffference between the majority and dissenting opinions in last Friday's D.C. Circuit decision in al Bahlul v. United States is as reflecting two different methodological approaches to the question of whether Congress can empower non-Article III military commissions to try "domestic" offenses like inchoate conspiracy.
At their simplest, both Judge Henderson's 85-page dissent from the D.C. Circuit's decision in al Bahlul v.