The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has issued a writ of mandamus in the 9/11 case, directing that Judge Scott Silliman of the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR) recuse himself from the case and vacating the CMCR's decision reinstating two charges against the 9/11 defendants that had previously been dismissed by the lower court. The opinion is available in full below.
In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration revived the long stagnant precedent of Ex Parte Quirin to establish military commission trials for individuals detained during the Global War on Terror. Ever since, the administration, Congress, and the courts have been working out the details of the system, litigating the details on statutory, constitutional, and policy grounds, and struggling to bring key terrorist figures to trial. The Obama administration has been less than enthusiastic about pursuing charges using military commissions, though it has pursued some, and some of these trials have already dragged on for years.