Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Al-Maqaleh v. Gates, the case testing whether habeas corpus, established for detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Boumediene v. Bush, extends to detainees at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. We analyzed the lower court decision (ruling that habeas extends to Bagram under Boumediene) here, the Obama administration's position here, and the Pentagon's efforts at Bagram here. Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog provides analysis here.
Whichever way the case goes at the D.C. Circuit, it is almost certainly headed for the Supreme Court.
Just one wrinkle: Late last month, the Defense Department notified the court that it demolished its detention facility at Bagram and built a new facility with the intent of transferring detention responsibilities to the Afghan government as soon as practicable. DoD apparently has not yet transferred detention responsibilities to the Afghanis, but when it does it may moot the case.