DC Circuit Judges Decree Kangaroo Court for Gitmo Detainees

Brian Zick

Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog reports: The D.C. Circuit Court on Wednesday, after pondering the issue for more than two months, on Wednesday refused to delay any longer putting into effect its decision that Guantanamo Bay detainees have lost all rights to pursue habeas challenges to their prolonged imprisonment. In a brief order, the panel that ruled against the detainees on Feb. 20 formally denied a request filed in April by detainees' lawyers not to issue the mandate and to hold the cases on its docket for several more months. The panel that had issued the Feb. 20 ruling, though split 2-1 then, unanimously denied the motion to hold the case, giving no explanation. It also found moot other requests by detainees' lawyers for legal relief. (…) Wednesday's order implementing the February decision appears likely to lead to two quick reactions: First, detainees' lawyers had indicated that, if the Circuit Court did issue its mandate, they would promptly return to the Supreme Court for an emergency order to maintain the status quo until they could pursue another appeal to the Justices. Second, the Justice Department appears likely to act quickly to get 12 District Court judges in Washington to dismiss habeas challenges by scores of detainees, and also to wipe out so-called "protective orders" that assure the detainees' lawyers access to their clients at Guantanamo and access to information the military may use to justify continuing to hold them.

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