USA: SUPREME COURT TURNS DOWN NEW GUANTANAMO APPEALS
June 11, 2012: The Supreme Court declined to take a new look at the rights of foreign prisoners held for the past decade at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba.
4 years after pronouncing that detainees who face no charges have a right to challenge their ongoing confinement, the justices rejected appeals arguing that the federal appeals court in Washington has largely ignored the high court's command.
The appeals court has not ordered the release of any detainee and has reversed several lower court release orders. In addition, some appellate judges have been unusually critical of the Supreme Court's 2008 decision in Boumediene v. Bush.
There are 169 foreigners remaining at Guantanamo, including the 5 men who are facing military trials for their roles in the Sept. 11 attacks. The justices offered no comment on their orders Monday in appeals from 7 detainees.
Lawyers for the detainees criticized the court for refusing to take up the appeals. "By refusing to hear these cases, and any Guantánamo cases since its 2008 Boumediene decision, the court abandons the promise of its own ruling guaranteeing detainees a constitutional right to meaningful review of the legality of their detention," said Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York. "Today's decision leaves the fate of detainees in the hands of a hostile D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has erected innumerable, unjustified legal obstacles that have made it practically impossible for a detainee to win a habeas case in the trial courts." (Source: Associated Press, 11/06/2012)