'Dirty bomb' suspect appeals indefinite detention to Supreme Court

[JURIST] Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] has filed an appeal [PDF cert. petition, via How Appealing] with the US Supreme Court, asking the Court to place limits on the government's ability to hold him and other terror suspects indefinitely without filing charges against them. Padilla has been in US custody for over three years on allegations that he was involved in an al Qaeda plot to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the US. Last year, the high court dismissed Padilla's challenge to his indefinite detention in a 5-4 decision because he brought it in the wrong court, but Padilla refiled the case [JURIST report]. Earlier this year, a federal judge in South Carolina ordered the government to either charge or release him, but the Fourth Circuit decided [opinion, PDF] that he could be detained indefinitely without charges [JURIST report], prompting Padilla's latest appeal to the high court. The Bush administration has argued that terrorist suspects should not be given constitutional protections when national security is at issue, and the new make-up of the court could bring a majority decision in favor of Bush's contentions. The Justices are not expected to decide whether they will hear Padilla's case until later this year. AP has more.

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