Center for Constitutional Rights Condemns D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling on Guantanamo Bay Detainees

February 21, 2007

Relevant Links:
Center for Constitutional Rights
Full text of the court's ruling (PDF)
CCR's response (PDF)
New York Times Feb. 21, 2007 article on the ruling (PDF)

The Center for Constitutional Rights, headed by Ethics Center Board Member Michael Ratner, has condemned the recent ruling upholding a law that strips federal judges of their authority to review foreign prisoners' challenges to their detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

On February 20, 2007, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the combined cases of Al Odah v. USA and Boumediene v. Bush that the Guantanamo detainees have no constitutional right to habeas corpus, the statutory right to challenge their detention in the courts. The lawsuits were the first to challenging the Military Commissions Act (MCA), passed by Congress in 2006.

"This decision empowers the President to do whatever he wishes to prisoners without any legal limitation as long as he does it off shore, and encourages such notorious practices as extraordinary rendition and a contempt for international human rights law," said Shayana Kadidal, managing attorney of the Center for Constitutional Rights Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative. "The matter will ultimately have to be resolved by the Supreme Court for a third time."