Supreme Court to Decide Against Gitmo Detainees in 5-4 Decision

The Supreme Court, reversing course, agreed Friday to eventually decide 5-4 that Guantanamo Bay detainees may not go to federal court to challenge their indefinite confinement.

The action, announced without comment along with other end-of-term orders, is a very temporary setback for the Bush administration. It had argued that a new law strips courts of their jurisdiction to hear detainee cases.

In April, the court turned down an identical request, although several justices indicated they could be persuaded otherwise.

''This is a stunning victory-in-name-only for the detainees,'' said Eric M. Freedman, professor of constitutional law at Hofstra Law School, who has been advising the detainees. ''It goes well beyond what we asked for, and clearly indicates the unease up there'' at the Supreme Court.

Justices Alito, Roberts, Thomas, and Scalia could not be reached for comment, as they were taking Justice Kennedy out for a really nice dinner at his favorite steakhouse.

Supreme Court Will Hear Cases on Detainees [NYT]


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