The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled May 21 in al-Maqaleh v. Gates that detainees held at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan cannot bring habeas corpus challenges in US courts. The circuit court reversed the district court’s ruling, which allowed habeas challenges by three Bagram detainees pursuant to the Supreme Court’s test in Boumediene v. Bush. Chief Judge David B. Sentelle, delivering the opinion of the three-judge panel, stated that the district court underestimated the significance of Bagram being located in an area of armed conflict, which differentiates the defendants’ jurisdictional status from those detained at Guantánamo Bay. The court held that the current case is more comparable to 1950’s Johnson v. Eisentrager, where the Supreme Court ruled that US courts had no jurisdiction over war criminals held in a US-administered German prison.
From Jurist, May 21. Used with permission.
See our last post on the detainment scandals.