09 December 2005

Hamdam and Padilla Updates

SCOTUS Blog informs us that the Hamdam case involving the Guatanamo Bay detainees has the counsel for the petitioner for whom Supreme Court review is pending, filing a motion accusing the government of ignoring court orders regarding the terms of detention while litigation is pending.

Meanwhile, the government has told the 4th Circuit that it is willing to give up its very favorable pro-government precedent in the Padilla case and cause him to cease to be an enemy combatant for the time being anyway, now that it is transferring Padilla to a criminal court.

The government also argued that:

The "hypothetical scenario" of a new designation of Padilla as an enemy combantant, it said, "would not fit within the narrow exception to the mootness doctrine for actions that are capable of repetition yet evading review."

This still leaves unanswered questions, of course. For example if, as the government claims, it could detain Padilla as an enemy combatant after he was acquitted in a criminal court, this would greatly chill plea bargaining in the case.

No comments: