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US asks Supreme Court to dismiss Padilla case

[JURIST] US government attorneys have asked the US Supreme Court [official website] to deny certiorari in the Jose Padilla case [JURIST news archive], where the court would decide whether an enemy combatant can be held indefinitely without charge. Padilla, the so-called dirty bomber, was detained in 2002 and had challenged his continued detention with the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruling [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] in September that he could be held without charge indefinitely. The decision has been appealed to the Supreme Court [cert. petition, PDF; JURIST report], but in November, Padilla was charged [PDF indictment; JURIST report] with conspiracy to murder US nationals, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. DOJ lawyers on Friday asked the Court to dismiss the case as moot [opposition brief, PDF; appendix, PDF], arguing that Padilla has already been given the "very relief" he sought when he filed his habeas appeal and that if the Court were to rule in the case, the ruling "will have no practical effect" on Padilla. Earlier this month, the federal government asked the 4th Circuit to withdraw its ruling [JURIST report], saying the decision was made moot by Padilla's indictment. If the appeals court sets aside its ruling, Padilla's pending appeal to the Supreme Court may be rendered null and void because there would technically be no ruling to appeal. The New York Times has more.

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