The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday issued its opinion in In Re: Abd al-Rahim Muhammed al-Nashiri. The court held that Col. Vance Spath, the judge in the al-Nashiri case, should have been disqualified from his position while seeking a job as an immigration judge with the U.S. Department of Justice. The court vacated every order Spath has issued since Nov. 2015 as well as related rulings by the Court of Military Commissions Review.
Latest in United States v. Al Nashiri
On Friday, the Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR) reversed the abatement in United States v. Al-Nashiri, and ordered that proceedings resume.
Last Week at the Military Commissions: More Debate on Defense Team Resignations and Evidence Pre-Admission in al-Nashiri
This past week, the military commission in United States v. al-Nashiri reconvened in open session for the first time since November, with open sessions on Jan. 19 and 22.
Unless you're someone who keeps a copy of Hart & Wechsler on your desk, you probably don't care that much about Tuesday's divided ruling by the D.C. Circuit in In re Al-Nashiri (which, for ease of reference, we should call "Al-Nashiri II," to distinguish it from the D.C. Circuit's February ruling on different matters in "Al-Nashiri I").
As Robert Loeb noted is his post yesterday, on Wednesday, the D.C. Circuit again heard oral argument in the case of Guantánamo detainee, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. As readers know from that post, Nashiri is charged with pre-9/11 offenses, including the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.
In Al Nashiri v. Obama, a panel of the D.C. Circuit appeared to be leaning toward allowing the federal courts to address when hostilities began with al Qaeda. Al Nashiri is challenging the authority of the Guantánamo military commissions to try offenses that pre-dated the September 11 attacks. Specifically, Nashiri is charged with complicity in the bombing on the USS Cole in 2000, and an earlier attempted bombing, that year, of the USS The Sullivans.
Last Wednesday, following more of the oft-renewed Administration calls to close Guantánamo, 10 Yemeni detainees were transferred to Oman—the biggest single transfer under the Obama administration. Meanwhile, the litigation surrounding Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri’s yet-to-be-commenced military commission trial pressed on. Last week, the government argued that abstention should prevent a decision on the merits of the effort to stop the trial before it happens.
This morning, a three-judge D.C.