Case Detail

Padilla v. Hanft
On April 3, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court decision upholding the federal government's detention of Jose Padilla, the "dirty bomber" accused of being an al Qaeda operative. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief urging the Court not to hear the case. The Supreme Court neither declared the case moot nor vacated the lower court decision on mootness grounds, even though Padilla, a U.S. citizen, is no longer being held as an "enemy combatant" -- Padilla was recently released from military custody and turned over to civilian authorities to face trial in connection with largely-unrelated charges that he conspired to aid overseas terrorist organizations. As a result of the Supreme Court not taking any action to declare the case moot, the appeals court decision in the government's favor remains standing and can serve as a precedent in future enemy combatant cases. Three justices voted to review the case, four votes are needed to grant review.
Case Status:
More Information and Downloads:
12/19/2005: Download WLF Brief
5/17/2005: Download the Brief

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