Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the transfer of John Doe, an American citizen held in U.S. military custody in Iraq, to Saudi custody.
Latest in Doe v. Mattis
On Tuesday, April 17, the Justice Department filed a notice alerting the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia of the government's intention to transfer John Doe, an American citizen held in U.S. military detention in Iraq, to an unnamed third country. Under the terms of a preliminary injunction issued by the court, the government is required to provide 72 hours' notice before transferring Doe.
Earlier today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in Doe v. Mattis, the case of a dual U.S.-Saudi citizen (John Doe) detained in Iraq by the U.S. military. Judges Sri Srinivasan and Robert Wilkins considered whether the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had erred in granting a preliminary injunction requiring the government to give 72 hours of notice before transferring Doe from U.S. custody. Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson was also assigned to the panel but didn’t show up for the oral argument.
Is it legal for the U.S. government to hold an American citizen in military detention in Iraq if that person was captured in the Syrian combat zone and was a fighter for the Islamic State?
That’s the fundamental legal issue at the heart of Doe v. Mattis, a habeas corpus case pending before Judge Tanya Chutkan in D.C. federal district court. It’s the sort of case that used to draw headlines; not so much anymore, it seems. Yet it’s a terribly important case, and worth your attention.
On Tuesday, I wrote about the constitutional* question raised the government’s interest in transferring John Doe—a dual Saudi-U.S. citizen in U.S. military custody in Iraq—to another state. The American Civil Liberties Union has asked Judge Tanya Chutkan to enjoin any such transfer, arguing that the Supreme Court’s Valentine v. United States decision prohibits involuntary transfer. In my previous post, I explored the extent to which the Munaf v.
Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling in Doe v. Mattis on January 23, declining to further enjoin the government from transferring Doe out of U.S. custody but requiring the government to provide both the court and the ACLU with 72 hours' notice prior to Doe's transfer.
Should a federal judge bar the U.S. military from transferring to another country a dual U.S.-Saudi citizen whom we have been holding as an enemy combatant in Iraq for the past several months?
Judge Tanya Chutkan of the D.C. federal district court issued an ordered in Doe v. Mattis on Jan. 18. Chutkan ordered the government not to transfer John Doe until Jan. 23, when the order suggests that the court will have ruled on Doe's pending motion for continued interim relief. The full order is included below:
Assessing the ACLU Habeas Petition on Behalf of the Unnamed U.S. Citizen Held as an Enemy Combatant in Iraq
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a John Doe habeas petition on behalf of the still-not-identified American citizen the U.S. military is holding as an enemy combatant in Iraq (for background, see here). The case is Doe v. Mattis, No. 17-cv-02069, and it was filed in federal district court in D.C. Here is my preliminary assessment.