As the organizational scope of the post-9/11 armed conflict evolves, so too does the scope of military detention authority. A court’s ruling this week illustrates that it is shrinking.
Detention & Guantanamo
As both a candidate and as president, Barack Obama repeatedly expressed his desire to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The facility and its role in the military's detention operations have been deeply controversial from the beginning of the war against Al Qaeda. Timelines for closing the facility have come and gone, yet the administration has been stymied by legislation that has made the task extremely difficult. Detention has been litigated up and down the federal appellate ladder. And as criminal trials have begun for some of the inmates in military commissions, the legal questions surrounding their detention and treatment have only gotten thornier.