DOJ to request dismissal of Gitmo lawsuits
DOJ to request dismissal of Gitmo lawsuits

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Tuesday filed notice with federal judges overseeing the habeas corpus petitions of Guantanamo Bay detainees [JURIST news archive] informing them that a provision in Title X of the defense spending bill [text] signed into law last week [JURIST report] strips federal courts of jurisdiction to hear the detainees' challenges. The DOJ plans to file formal dismissal notices within the next few days in each of the estimated 160 cases that have been filed on behalf of over 300 prisoners. In its 2004 decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld [opinion text], the Supreme Court held that the Guantanamo Bay naval base, where many prisoners of the war on terror are being held indefinitely without charge, is within the jurisdiction of the United States, which means that prisoners are allowed under statute to file habeas corpus petitions in federal court challenging their detentions. The 2006 spending bill, however, contained the so-called Graham-Levin Amendment [JURIST document] limiting habeas jurisdiction for claims by enemy combatants. In sponsoring the amendment, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) [official website] argued that the detainees' petitions were frivolous and a waste of judicial resources. The New York Times has more.