Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

No Habeas For Hamdi

The Fourth Circuit reversed a decision of a Virginia district court which would have required the government to turn over a copious material to establish that Yaser Esam Hamdi--an American citizen captured in Afghanistan with al Quaeda--is an enemy combatant, and therefore may be held in a military brig. The unanimous three-judge panel, which included Clinton appointee Judge Traxler, declared:

Because it is undisputed that Hamdi was captured in a zone of active combat in a foreign theater of conflict, we hold that the submitted declaration [of the Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy setting forth what the government contends were the circumstances of Hamdi’s capture] is a sufficient basis upon which to conclude that the Commander in Chief has constitutionally detained Hamdi pursuant to the war powers entrusted to him by the United States Constitution.

Thanks as always to Howard Bashman’s How Appealing Blog for covering the opinion before any of the major news outlets. You can access the full opinion, which is worth a read if only for its sometimes colorful dicta, here.

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