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Supreme Court sends Uighur case back to lower court
Supreme Court sends Uighur case back to lower court

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday ordered [opinion, PDF] a lower court to reconsider the case of seven Chinese Muslim Uighurs detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archives]. The court originally granted certiorari [JURIST report] in Kiyemba v. Obama [docket; CCR backgrounder] to determine whether it is within the power of the judicial branch to order the release of detainees into the US. The court ordered the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] to reconsider the case in light of the fact that each of the remaining Uighurs has received an offer of resettlement by another country. In a brief order, the court wrote:

This change in the underlying facts may affect the legal issues presented. No court has yet ruled in this case in light of the new facts, and we decline to be the first to do so.

Under these circumstances, we vacate the judgment and remand the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It should determine, in the first instance, what further proceedings in that court or in the District Court are necessary and appropriate for the full and prompt disposition of the case in light of the new developments.

The order comes after the court asked the Obama administration and lawyers for the Uighurs to submit supplemental briefs [JURIST report] explaining how the resettlement offers would affect the case.

Also Monday, the court granted certiorari in Michigan v. Bryant [docket; cert. petition, PDF], in which the court will decide whether preliminary inquiries of a wounded citizen concerning the perpetrator and circumstances of the shooting are non-testimonial, rendering them admissible in court. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled [opinion, PDF] that the "primary purpose of the interrogation [was] to establish or prove past events potentially relevant to later criminal prosecution," concluding that the statements constituted inadmissible testimonial hearsay.