DC Circuit suspends status review for Yemeni held at Guantanamo News
DC Circuit suspends status review for Yemeni held at Guantanamo

[JURIST] A panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] on Tuesday suspended [PDF text] its review of Guantanamo Bay detainee Yasin Muhammed Basardh's status as an "enemy combatant," saying it may lack jurisdiction over the case. Basardh had petitioned the court to review a Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) [DOD materials] determination that he could be held as an "enemy combatant," but the court said that provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (DTA) [text] that gave it authority to review the decision were likely at odds with a 2008 Supreme Court [official website] decision in Boumediene v. Bush [Duke Law backgrounder; JURIST archive] giving federal district courts authority to review habeas corpus petitions by detainees. Reasoning that having dual forms of review would be redundant and contrary to both the intent of the DTA and the Supreme Court's ruling, the panel wrote:

There is no rational reason why, if Congress had known that habeas jurisdiction had to be preserved, it would have also wanted to give Guantanamo detainees the option of bringing a simultaneous action directly in the court of appeals. Congress designed the direct review regime to limit judicial intervention and to consolidate review in one forum…

…We believe there is a high probability that a consequence of Boumediene’s striking down the legislative bar against habeas jurisdiction is that the direct judicial review provision of the Detainee Treatment Act fell as well. It has long been the rule that if separate statutory provisions are so “dependent on each other, as conditions, considerations, or compensations for each other as to warrant a belief that the legislature intended them as a whole, and that, if all could not be carried into effect, the legislature would not pass the residue independently, and some parts are unconstitutional, all the provisions which are thus dependent, conditional, or connected must fall with them.”

SCOTUSblog has more.

The decision is the latest in a series of judicial challenges to current US detention rules. In October, Judge Richard Leon [official profile] of the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] ruled [order, PDF; JURIST report] that in order to be validly held as an "enemy combatants," Guantanamo Bay detainees [JURIST news archive] must have directly supported hostilities against the US or its allies.