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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Padilla lawyers urge Supreme Court to review detention
Joshua Pantesco at 12:54 PM ET

[JURIST] Lawyers for so-called "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] have responded [reply brief, PDF] to the government's contention that Padilla's US Supreme Court appeal [certiorari petition, PDF; JURIST report] is moot and should be denied, insisting that his case "raises questions of profound constitutional importance about the government's military power over citizens in the homeland." US Department of Justice lawyers petitioned the Court [opposition brief PDF] last month to deny review, arguing that because Padilla has now been indicted [PDF indictment; JURIST report], he has been given the "very relief" he sought when he filed his habeas appeal, and that a Court ruling on the case would "have no practical effect" on Padilla. The US Fourth Circuit Court of appeals ruled [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] in September that Padilla, an enemy combatant, could be held indefinitely without charge. Padilla's reply filed Tuesday also includes mention of recent legal developments, including the discovery of the Bush administration's widespread use of warrantless surveillance tactics [JURIST news archive], that raise questions about the executive branch's power to conduct the war on terror with little judicial oversight. The Supreme Court is expected to decide whether to hear the case by mid-January; Padilla's first appeal to the Court in 2004 was denied due to lack of jurisdiction. The Washington Post has more.

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