Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Challenge to Military Commissions

Follow this link to a post on the SCOTUSblog about the latest challenge to the ongoing military commission trials taking place at Guantanamo. The new challenge argues that the Congress had no authority to set up the commission system. Regardless, the suit alleges, the commissions system unconstitutionally treats aliens charged with acts of terrorism differently than the way a US citizen would be treated. Four points to be considered outside the merits of the case:

1. Take a look at the Circuit Court's Order. The three judge panel is acting sua sponte to set the stringent time deadlines.

2. Note the time on SCOTUSblog post - 10:23 pm on Friday, September 11th. It appears that there was no story about this filing or the Court's ruling in any major US newspaper this morning. Thus, the informal and instant nature of blogs as news source continues to scoop the major news gathering services. And, this is an important ruling. The government must reply to this new challenge by noon next Tuesday, September 15th. This is a fast moving story and it will be interesting to see how quickly the news services cover it.

3. The blog post is accompanied by scanned copies of the original documents filed in the case. If you are interested in legal news, this is the kind of thing that helps you understand what is going on. Why rely on the analysis from a blog post or news story when you can read the documents actually on file with the court? You can make up your own mind about what's happening.

4. Somebody at the Office of the Convening Authority for the Military Commissions is going to be working overtime this weekend.

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