In the HUGE blow against those of us for Human Rights Judge Robertson threw out Hamdans case today. He said because of the new law he could no longer hear the case.
Though Robertson originally sided with Hamdan, he said that he no longer had jurisdiction to hear Hamdan's case because Congress clearly intended to keep such disputes out of federal courts. He said foreigners being held in overseas military prisons do not have the right to challenge their detention, a right people inside the country normally enjoy.
WASHINGTON - A federal judge upheld the Bush administration's new terrorism law Wednesday, agreeing that Guantanamo Bay detainees do not have the right to challenge their imprisonment in U.S. courts.
This is going to cause havoc in our legal system, and will be a shot heard round the world. I don't think , if it is allowed to go to the Supreme Court , the ruling will stand. We have the out-going Congress to thank for this. As you know many Democrats voted in support of this law also, being afraid of losing votes in the then upcoming election. I will update as more is released, and feel free to add anything you find.
Yes, Habeas Corpus is truly dead for now.
Update :From the Center for Constitutional Rights:
On December 13, 2006, the Center for Constitutional Rights Deputy Legal Director Barbara Olshansky said, "Unfortunately, Judge Robertson overlooked the primary ruling on the rights and protections guaranteed to the detainees at Guantanamo by the United States Supreme Court in its 2004 ruling in Rasul v. Bush."
She continued, "That decision held squarely that the detainees are entitled to challenge the legality of their detention in front of a court by means of the writ of habeas corpus under both the Constitution and the laws of the United States. This means that even if a law, like federal statute 28 USC 2241 has been amended by Congress-as it was in the MCA-the detainees still retain their right to challenge their imprisonment under the Constitution itself and under the common law as it has existed since the Magna Carta was handed down in 1215."
Barbara Olshansky also noted that "this is the first time in the history of this country that a court has held that a man may be held by our government in a place where no law applies." She further noted that "the Center will not stand by and watch the unraveling of human rights at the cost of individual freedom and our most fundamental democratic principles."
Hattip to " normal family " http://www.ccr-ny.org/...
The New York Times has a article in this mornings paper. The bit below is the key part in understanding what actually went on. At least for me.
It was Judge Robertson who granted Mr. Hamdan’s habeas petition in November 2004, abruptly halting his war crimes trial in the middle of proceedings at Guantánamo by ruling that the process was fatally flawed.
But in his decision Wednesday, the judge said circumstances had changed fundamentally with enactment of the new law. And not only is Mr. Hamdan barred from a challenge under the habeas statute, the judge said, he cannot follow the usual second avenue to bring a habeas challenge — invoking the Constitution — because it is unclear that noncitizens at Guantánamo have that right.
Not being a lawyer when trying to understand some of this stuff will make my head spin. http://www.nytimes.com/...
Update #3 Glenn Greenwald has interesting points on what this Judge has actually done. He also reminds us that Judge Robertson is the Judge that resigned from FISA under protest of Bushs ignoring of the FISA Law. http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/