Gitmo Ruling Of The Day: Jawad Gets Habeas

A federal judge has once again thrown the Obama administration for a loop

: District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle ordered an immediate habeas corpus hearing for two long-time detainees. The government wanted those hearings postponed because it had postponed their military commissions.  In a short order, the judge wrote that the petitioners, Mohammed Jaward and Mohammed Kameen, "cannot exhaust their criminal proceedings without suffering
delay."  Justice delayed is justice...  well, you get the idea.

Huvelle footnotes the Boumediene decision, which requires "prompt" adjudication of the Gitmo habeas cases. The judge notes that if the administration quickly re-opens the commission hearings for the two men, the government can refile their motion to suspend a full habeas hearing.

Essentially, this ruling and a recent, similar order by a DC circuit judge suggest that the administration's arguments are being greeted skeptically


The ruling only applies to Jawad and a co-plaintiff; the upshot, though, is that the several other high-profile detainees who've begun the military commissions process have legal ballast to demand immediate habeas hearings. 

A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment, other than to say that the ruling was expected. 
Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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