A new military commissions judge in the Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri case has dismissed a series of government motions seeking to avoid turning over classified materials to Nashiri's defense team. In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit threw out more than three years of orders issued by the case's former, Col. Vance Spath. The government had requested "reconsideration" of 30 of Spath's now-vacated orders about classified evidence.
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.