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Federal appeals court refuses to reconsider 'enemy combatant' evidence ruling

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said Friday that it will not reconsider [order, PDF] its July 2007 decision [PDF text; JURIST report] that federal appeals courts reviewing the "enemy combatant" [JURIST news archive] designation of Guantanamo Bay detainees must review all evidence regarding that detainee. In the July decision, the appeals court rejected the government's argument that the Pentagon should be able to select which evidence is presented to the court and may choose to leave out evidence that could clear a detainee of guilt.

The court was split 5-5 on whether to reconsider the earlier decision en banc, falling short of the majority required to reconsider a ruling as a full court. In an unusual move when rejecting a case, the judges issued opinions explaining their reasoning. Judge Merrick B. Garland wrote that the court should not rehear the case while the Supreme Court is considering another case challenging the constitutionality of the military tribunal system [JURIST report], but Judge A. Raymond Randolph said that the court's review could have been helpful to the Supreme Court. AP has more. SCOTUSblog has additional coverage.

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