Advancing a Free Society

House GOP to Supreme Court: Bring Gitmo Detainees Here

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yesterday, I drew attention to the mindless House amendment designed to zero out funding for State Department efforts to resettle Guantanamo detainees. I have  a proposed name for this amendment: The Let’s Taunt the Supreme Court of the United States into Granting Cert in a Gitmo Case Act (or the Taunt Act for short). Consider the lay of the legal land now and under the proposed Taunt Act.

Currently, there are a group of detainees at Guantanamo challenging their detentions. Early on, a fair number of them were winning their cases (though that has shifted hard over the past year). When a detainee wins, the habeas court orders his release, which requires a measure of diplomatic negotiation to effectuate. Sometimes, this is relatively easy, as when the detainee is a from a country to whom he can be easily returned and which has no ambitions to torture him. Sometimes, however, it’s rather difficult. The detainee’s home country would like to, say, separate him from his fingernails, and other countries are, curiously enough, not lining up to house someone whom the United States will not put in Cleveland or Washington DC and has long maintained is a serious bad guy but whom we are now under court order to release. Both situations take diplomacy. The latter situation takes a lot of diplomacy.

Continue reading Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare

(photo credit: The National Guard)