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Supreme Court declines to rule on Guantanamo detainee transfer process

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday declined to rule [order list, PDF] in the case known as Kiyemba II, in which the court was asked to consider issues surrounding the transfer of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees. Lawyers for four Chinese Muslim Uighurs [JURIST news archive] detained at Guantanamo were appealing [JURIST report] an April ruling [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Columbia Circuit, which held that US courts cannot prevent the government from transferring Guantanamo detainees to foreign countries on the grounds that detainees may face prosecution or torture in the foreign country. The case is separate from a case the court remanded [JURIST report] to the DC circuit court earlier this month, known as Kiyemba I.

Also Monday, the court granted certiorari in four cases. In Connick v. Thompson [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will consider whether imposing failure-to-train liability on a district attorney's office for a single Brady violation contravenes the rigorous culpability and causation standards or undermines prosecutors' absolute immunity. Prosecutors hid exculpatory evidence in violation of defendant John Thompson's rights under Brady v. Maryland [opinion text]. The US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana entered a judgment [text, PDF] in favor of Thompson, and the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied [opinion, PDF] the motion for a new trial.

In Belleque v. Moore [docket, cert. petition, PDF], the court will consider whether the standard set forth in Arizona v. Fulminante [opinion text] - that the erroneous admission of a coerced confession at the trial is not harmless - applies if a collateral challenge is based on a defense attorney's decision not to move to suppress a confession prior to a guilty or no contest plea. If the standard applies, the court will then have to consider whether the application is "clearly established" under federal law. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled [opinion, PDF] that the Fulminante standard should apply.

In Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will consider whether an oral complaint of a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act [text, PDF] is protected conduct under the anti-retaliation provision [29 USC § 215(a)(3) text]. The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that an oral complaint is not protect and later denied [opinions, PDF] a motion for a rehearing by the full court.

In Flores-Villar v. United States [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will consider whether its decision in Nguyen v. Immigration and Naturalization Service [opinion text] permits gender discrimination that has no biological basis. Ruben Flores-Villar raised a Fifth Amendment equal protection challenge challenge to two former sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 USC § 1401(a)(7) and 8 USC § 1409 [texts], which impose a five-year residence requirement, after the age of 14, on US citizen fathers, but not on US citizen mothers, before they may transmit citizenship to a child born out of wedlock abroad to a non-citizen. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled [opinion, PDF] that the provisions survive intermediate scrutiny.

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