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Friday, Jul 20, 2007, 3:00 pm

Appellate Judges Rule Bush Can’t Conduct Blatant Kangaroo Courts in Military Tribunal Cases

By Brian Zick
Matt Apuzzo for AP reports:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the Bush administration's plan to limit what judges and the detainees' attorneys can review when considering whether the Combatant Status Review Tribunals acted appropriately.

"Counsel for a detainee has a 'need to know' the classified information relating to his client's case," the appeals court ruled. "The government may withhold from counsel, but not from the court, certain highly sensitive information."

The appeals court decision is likely to be considered by the Supreme Court as it decides whether detainees should have greater access to U.S. civilian courts.
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Washington, D.C., attorney David Remes said, however, that the court's decision "will turn out to be a prescription for endless litigation in these cases."
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Remes also said that "it's clear from the decision that the review under the Detainee Treatment Act falls short of constitutionally required habeas corpus review."
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Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney involved in other detainee cases, said Friday's court ruling is only a minor improvement in a seriously flawed process.

"It's definitely better than what the government had proposed but it still doesn't provide for a meaningful process," Hafetz said.
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Friday's unanimous decision was issued by Judges Douglas Ginsburg, Judith Rogers and Karen Lecraft Henderson. Rogers is a Clinton appointee. Ginsburg, the chief judge of the appeals court, is a Reagan appointee. Henderon was appointed by President Bush's father, George H.W. Bush.
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