Detainee Hamdan Loses Bid to Challenge Detention
Federal Judge James Robertson has ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that Salim Ahmed Hamdan cannot challenge his confinement at Guantanamo because of the Military Commissions Act passed in September, which prevents the detainees from bringing habeas challenges.
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.
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