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Detainees ask Supreme Court to expedite Military Commissions Act habeas review

[JURIST] Two Guantamano Bay detainees petitioned the US Supreme Court [official website] Tuesday to expedite its review of the 2006 Military Commissions Act (MCA) [PDF text; JURIST news archive], which contains a "court-stripping" provision that prevents federal courts from hearing habeas challenges. The motion to expedite [PDF text] filed by joint appellants Salim Ahmed Hamdan and Omar Khadr [Trial Watch profiles] asks the Court to review the habeas-stripping provision as it was applied in two separate cases: earlier this month, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit upheld the dismissal of several habeas cases [JURIST report], and last December, a district judge dismissed Hamdan's habeas appeal [JURIST report], finding the district court lacked jurisdiction due to the court-stripping provision. Lawyers for the detainees argued in their motion Tuesday that the habeas-stripping aspect of the Act raises "issues of extreme public and constitutional significance" warranting expedited review. The actual petition for writ of certiorari will be filed later this week. Tuesday's motion essentially asks the Court to decide quickly whether to grant certiorari to the consolidated appeal. AP has more. SCOTUSblog has additional coverage.

President Bush signed the MCA into law [JURIST report] last October and shortly afterwards the US Justice Department sent letters [JURIST report] to the DC district and appeals courts, saying they no longer had jurisdiction over some 200 pending cases filed by Guantanamo detainees.

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