In an en banc decision, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Ali Hamza al-Bahlul's conviction by military commission for conspiracy to commit war crimes. The decision is the opposite of the court's panel decision last June, which vacated al-Bahlul's conviction. The court's decision is also available here.
Latest in United States v. Al Bahlul
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.
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.
On June 12, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit handed down its decision in the most recent iteration of Al Bahlul v. United States, vacating defendant Ali Hamza Suliman al Bahlul’s conviction for inchoate conspiracy. Al Bahlul’s other convictions had previously been vacated by the D.C.
At their simplest, both Judge Henderson's 85-page dissent from the D.C. Circuit's decision in al Bahlul v.