Supreme Court Fails to Tackle Torture – in the Past or in the Future

Since the dying days of the Bush administration, when the Supreme Court savaged the indifference of the executive branch and of Congress towards the cruel mess they had created at Guantánamo, by ensuring that the prisoners had constitutionally guaranteed habeas corpus rights, it has, sadly, all been downhill when it comes to judicial oversight of the national security state. Moreover, in two recent decisions, the Supreme Court has shown indifference to torture, either in the past or in the future.

In the three years since that landmark case, Boumediene v. Bush, the prisoners’ initial success in the District Court in Washington DC., where they won 38 of the first 52 cases, has been abruptly halted, as right-wing judges in the D.C. Circuit Court, led by Senior Judge A. Raymond Randolph, have pushed back, insisting that little evidence is required to continue holding men indefinitely, even if, as in most cases, they were nothing more than insignificant foot soldiers for the Taliban, rather than international terrorists.

In response to this repeated hurling down of gauntlets by Judge Randolph, who is notorious for approving every piece of Guantánamo-related legislation that was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court, there has been no repeat of Boumediene. In the last few months, lawyers for the prisoners have tried to undermine Judge Randolph and his colleagues on numerous fronts. Eight Guantánamo cases have made their way to the Supreme Court, as SCOTUSblog reported back in December, but all have failed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer (The State of London).
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