Friday, July 20, 2007

Appeals Court - Judges Need All Detainee Evidence

By Cernig

Here's one in the eye for Judge "I Am The Law" Bush:
When Guantanamo Bay detainees challenge their status as ``enemy combatants,'' judges must review all the evidence, not just what the military chooses, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the Bush administration's plan to limit what judges can review when considering whether the military tribunal acted appropriately.

When detainees are brought before military tribunals, they are not allowed to have lawyers with them and the Pentagon decides what evidence to put forward. If the tribunal determines a prisoner is an enemy combatant, he can challenge that designation in a federal appeals court.

But government attorneys argued that the federal judges only had the authority to review a summary of the evidence put forward during the tribunal hearing. The appeals court ruled Friday that they needed all the evidence.

Without all the information, the court said, deciding whether the tribunal acted appropriately would be like trying to figure out the value of a fraction without knowing both numbers.
Nice to see that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit still feels that the rule of law and basic principles of jurisprudence trump the wishes of the soft-dictatorship in the White House.

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