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Why the Delay on Detainee Cases?

That is the question Lyle Denniston asked Friday at SCOTUSblog,  as another round of decisions from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals failed to address the cases involving the legal rights of foreign nationals being held at the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "The Court has taken no action on the cases, and has not even responded to a motion filed a week ago Friday asking it to expedite its ruling because of alleged deteriorating conditions for the detainees at Guantanamo," Denniston says.

In a recent court filing, Denniston reports, lawyers for the detainees recounted the dragged-out timeline of the cases:

"Sixty months ago, the first of the Guantanamo detainees arrived at Guantanamo and began filing habeas petitions seeking release from detention. Thirty months ago, the Supreme Court held that those detainees were entitled to seek such habeas relief. Twenty four months ago, after further habeas petitions were filed, Judges Joyce Hens Green and Richard Leon issued the decisions giving rise to these appeals. Eighteen months ago, this Court heard oral argument on the merits; six months ago, the Supreme Court held that the Detainee Treatment Act did not apply to pending actions; and four months ago, Congress enacted the Military Commissions Act."

As the lawyers argued and as Denniston notes, "habeas review must be speedy in order to be effective."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on February 12, 2007 at 06:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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