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Senate passes amendment to block Gitmo prisoners from court challenges

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] voted 49-42 late Thursday to block Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees from challenging their imprisonment in US federal courts. The legislation, proposed [JURIST report] by GOP Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) [official website], conflicts with the 2004 US Supreme Court ruling in Rasul v. Bush [opinion text], which held that according to Court's interpretation of congressional intent, "aliens held at the base, like American citizens, are entitled" to challenge their detention. The amendment, attached to the 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill [summary], received the support of three Democrats. Graham said of the amendment that "in the law of armed conflict, no nation has given an enemy combatant, a terrorist, an al-Qaida member the ability to go into every federal court in this United States and sue the people that are fighting the war for us." In response, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) [official website] said "It's contrary to the way the court decisions have come down already. It is an extraordinary step for this Congress to be taking." AP has more.

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