Has the statutory foundation for detention of enemy combatants quietly collapsed thanks to changing circumstances in Afghanistan? Justice Stephen Breyer is urging his colleagues to take up that question.
Latest in Guantanamo: Litigation: Supreme Court
It had to happen sooner or later: an actual slow week for national security law! Ugh! Well, time to make lemonade from the lemons. A slow week in NSL news means that we can take a run at a format that we originally expected to be a mainstay for the show: a deep-dive into a single significant development.
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.
Counsel for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri have filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court.
In part, the majority and dissenting opinions in al Bahlul v. United States reflect two different methodological approaches to the central question, formal or functional. But al Bahlul doesn't simply turn on whether one applies one or the other approach. So even as the majority correctly resorted to formalism in resolving al Bahlul's Article III challenge to his conspiracy conviction, properly applied, the Supreme Court's more functional approach ought to have produced the same result.
Both Judge Henderson's dissent in al Bahlul and Peter Margulies's post criticizing the al Bahlul majority assume that courts should take a functional approach to the permissible scope of the jurisdiction of non-Article III military courts--and therefore balance a series of prudential factors in determining when military courts should be allowed to try offenses or offenders not previously subject to military jurisdiction. In this post, I explain why, at a fundamental level, formalism, and not functionalism, is the appropriate analytical mode--and, therefore, why both Judge Henderson's dissent and Peter's critique miss the mark. If anything, the biggest flaw in Judge Rogers' majority opinion is its failure to do more to explain why a formalistic approach is called for in this context. This post aims to fill that gap.
Ben asks “What Would it Take to Close Guantanamo?” and he provides a thoughtful response weighted toward the political landscape. But there’s another not-so-merely-philosophical question that underlies his question: what does it mean to “close Guantanamo?”
Here's a novelty: Guantanamo detainee Abdul Razak Ali---whose case we have written about a fair bit---has filed a reply brief in response to his own cert petition. Here's how it opens:
Very interesting and thoughtful comments over at Just Security by Marty Lederman on Justice Breyer's brief opinion in the Hussain cert denial the other day. Marty writes:
The D.C. Circuit has just handed down a 12-page decision in Abdullah v. Obama, affirming the district court's denial of Abdullah's motion to enjoin the U.S. government from detaining him. Hani Saleh Rashid Abdullah, a Yemeni national, claimed his detention at Guantanamo violates a 1946 executive agreement between the U.S.