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US government appeals 'enemy combatant' evidence ruling to Supreme Court

[JURIST] The Bush administration filed a petition for certiorari [PDF text] with the US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] Thursday in the case of Gates v. Bismullah, seeking to limit the information it must provide to courts in cases involving Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees classified as "enemy combatants." Last July, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled [PDF text; JURIST report] that federal appeals courts reviewing enemy combatant designations must review all evidence regarding that detainee, rejecting the government's argument that it should only have to turn over the same evidence presented to the Combatant Status Review Tribunal that designated the detainee as an enemy combatant. The full appeals court earlier this month refused to reconsider [order, PDF; JURIST report] its decision. The administration has also requested a stay [PDF text] of the appeals court's judgment pending the Supreme Court ruling.

The Bush administration asked the Court to either accept the Bismullah case with expedited review [motion, PDF], or defer action until the Court rules on Boumediene v. Bush (06-1195) [docket; merit briefs], a case already pending [JURIST report] before the Court. In Boumediene, the Court heard arguments in December on whether Guantanamo detainees should be allowed to challenge their detentions in federal court. The Boumediene case is also on appeal from the DC Circuit, which last year upheld [PDF text; JURIST report] the habeas-stripping provision of the controversial Military Commissions Act of 2006 [PDF text; JURIST news archive] as applied to enemy combatants. The New York Times has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

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