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US Senate passes compromise on Gitmo detainee federal court access

[JURIST] The US Senate on Tuesday passed a compromise amendment [JURIST report] to the 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill [bill summary] that would curtail, but not totally cut off, Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees' access to the federal court system to challenge their detentions. The new amendment, passed by a vote of 84-14 [roll call vote], was brokered by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) [official website] as a compromise to an earlier more restrictive amendment introduced ny his earlier amendment [JURIST report] proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) [official website] that passed the Senate last Thursday 49-42 [roll call vote]. If signed into law, Tuesday's amendment would give detainees an opportunity to appeal the rulings of a military tribunal, but would otherwise cut off their access to the federal court system. By contrast, Graham's earlier amendment would have limited detainees' access to the federal court system to a review of whether the determination of a detainee's enemy combatant status was consistent with Combatant Status Review Tribunal procedures and standards. Also Tuesday, senators rejected [roll call vote] an amendment introduced by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (R-NM) [official website] that would have more fully permitted detainees to challenge the legality of their detention through federal habeas corpus. Reuters has more.

8:12 PM ET - The 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill [bill summary], with the compromise Graham-Levin amendment, was approved by the Senate Tuesday afternoon by a vote of 98-0. The Washington Post has more.

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