SCOTUS Blog is predicting that the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on an attempt by Guantanamo Bay detainees to keep open their option of challenging their transfers to countries where they fear torture, death, or further detention. SCOTUS Blog is predicting that the Court will remand the matter to the lower court for further proceedings as it has done in other related cases. The (sub)case likely to force expedited treatment involves an Algerian national, Ahmed Belbacha, who is close to transfer. Last month, in a still-classified order, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., wiped out an earlier order that barred Belbacha’s transfer to Algeria until after his attorneys had a chance to pursue a challenge. Belbacha’s attorneys are now trying to get the order put back into effect, so that the prisoner stays at Guantanamo for the time being. (He was cleared for release by the Pentagon more than three years ago; he is now in his eighth year as a detainee). A new thread in this case involves four of the seven Chinese Muslim Uighurs who were involved in “Kiyemba I,” and the Court decided on March 1 that lower courts should examine new factual developments involving the status of those seven, each of whom now has or previously had an offer to be re-settled somewhere other than in their homeland, China.
Scotusblog has an interesting article on Afghani shop keeper Abdul Hamid Salam Al-Ghizzaw. Seventeen months after he won the right to challenge his detention, the case has not moved forward. His attorney is back before the United States Supreme Court seeking his release. The Justice Department under President Obama is apparently not much better than under President Bush on this issue. They are seeking to gag his attorney from talking about anything in the case. To read the non-censored parts of his attorney’s blog, click here.
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has called the decision to try the terror suspects inside in a civilian court in New York City a victory for civil rights. On Friday, it released an extensive press release calling this a “victory” for the constitution.