Thursday, September 19, 2013

New Filing in the Supreme Court

From Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS:

GTMO and war’s end in Afghanistan

A Kuwaiti national held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay for more than eleven-and-a-half years, who figured in an important Supreme Court ruling nine years ago, is making a new plea for his release — just as soon as the U.S. completes its withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan.  At that point, lawyers for Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad al Odah argued in a new filing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, the U.S. government will no longer have a legal basis for holding him.
The habeas petition contended that the Supreme Court has allowed detention of prisoners captured in Afghanistan or Pakistan only as long as “armed hostilities” continue for U.S. forces in that region.   With the Obama administration’s planned end of those operations by the end of December 2014, the document contended, al Odah must be sent home to Kuwait.
The document illustrated once more that the American lawyers who provide legal aid to the Guantanamo prisoners — often working without fees — will continue to work out new pleas to challenge the years-long confinement of their clients.   The al Odah filing is the first to be based on the plea that the Afghan war will change the entire legal framework for detention of individuals suspected of terrorist roles.  The government has never faced that claim before.