Justice Department urges Supreme Court to dismiss Guantanamo tribunals case

[JURIST] The US Justice Department filed a motion [PDF text] with the US Supreme Court Thursday to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction a case brought by Salim Ahmed Hamdan challenging President Bush's authority to establish military commissions to try Guantanamo Bay detainees [JURIST news archive] for war crimes. The Court agreed to hear Hamdan's case [JURIST report] last November. The DOJ's argument centers on the Graham-Levin Amendment [JURIST document], part of a defense-spending bill [text] signed into law in December which limits the ability of Guantanamo prisoners to challenge their detentions in federal courts. The government argues that the Amendment applies retrospectively to cases already brought by detainees, and not just prospectively. The government cited the same law last week when it moved to dismiss more than 180 cases pending the US DC District Court involving prisoners who have challenged their detention. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) [official website], who co-sponsored the Amendment as passed, has insisted that the administration cannot use the new law [press release; JURIST report] to dismiss already filed habeas corpus petitions from Guantanamo prisoners. Reuters has more.



 

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