Despite Ruling, Detainee Cases Facing Delays
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: October 10th, 2008
When the Supreme Court ruled in June that detainees at Guantnamo had the right to challenge their detention in federal court, the justices said that after more than six years of legal wrangling the prisoners should have their cases heard quickly because the costs of delay can no longer be borne by those who are held in custody. But nearly four months later, as the Bush administration has opened a new defense of its detention policies in federal court, none of the scores of cases brought by detainees have been resolved by any judge. Since the Supreme Court issued its ruling, lawyers for most of the 255 detainees in Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, have pressed ahead with habeas corpus lawsuits, yet most of those cases have been delayed by battles over issues like whether some court sessions will be held in secret, whether detainees can attend and what level of proof will justify detention. Some of the arguments made by the Justice Department appear to challenge the Supreme Courts conclusion that the federal courts have a role in deciding the fate of the detainees. Officials and lawyers inside and outside of the government say the new legal confrontation suggests that the Bush administration will most likely continue its defense of the detention camp until the end of President Bushs term and is not likely to close the camp, as administration officials have said they would like to do. Detainees advocates say that the administration is using the legal battle to delay judicial review of its evidence.
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