[Marxism] Lawyers for Saudi Prisoner Ask Court to Throw Out Roberts Ruling

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 29 23:28:12 MDT 2005

(Still more proof if Cuba's importance in the overall scheme 
of things. Learn more about conditions at Guantanamo here:

August 30, 2005

Lawyers for Saudi Prisoner Ask
Court to Throw Out Roberts Ruling

August 30, 2005; Page A4

WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for a Saudi prisoner asked the federal appeals
court here to throw out a ruling denying Geneva Conventions p
rotection to Guantanamo Bay detainees because Judge John Roberts
voted on the case while privately pursuing a Supreme Court nomination
with the White House.

In the July 15 ruling, a three-judge panel of the appeals court said
that military proceedings agai nst detainees at the naval base in
Cuba could proceed. Judge Roberts, a 2003 Bush appointee to the
appeals court, joined two other judges in reversing a lower court.
The next week President Bush announced his nomination to succeed
Justice Sandra Day O'Con nor.

Since Judge Roberts disclosed this month in a Senate questionnaire
that he had been interviewing for the Supreme Court vacancy while
hearing the case, legal ethicists have sparred over whether he should
have disqualified himself or told the parties of his private

It is unclear how the move will affect the confirmation hearings for
Judge Roberts that are scheduled to begin next week. After meeting
yesterday with Judge Roberts, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the
Judiciary Committee's ranking Democrat, said that he considered the
recusal question "significant" and that he had discussed it with the
nominee. Mr. Leahy said two other committee Democrats who have
questioned Judge Roberts's participation in the Guantanamo case,
Russell Feingold of Wisconsin and Charles Schumer of New York, 
were likely to "raise it at some length" at the hearings.

The White House strongly backed its nominee. "There was no conflict
of interest in this unanimous appeals-court ruling," spokeswoman Dana
Perino said.

Lawyers for the prisoner who lost before Judge Roberts's panel,
Salim Hamdan, have since filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. The
opinion, which found that the Geneva Conventions couldn't be enforced
in U.S. courts, by implication spells doom for cases brou ght by
dozens of other Guantanamo prisoners who are challenging their

Lawyers for one of those prisoners, Rami bin Saad al-Oteibi of Saudi
Arabia, filed their motion under seal on Friday. A court security
officer cleared it for public release yes terday. The motion seeks to
intervene in the Hamdan case and asks for a new hearing before a
panel without Judge Roberts.

Separately, a federal judge in New York ordered1 the Defense
Department to ask Guantanamo prisoners whether they object to their
identi ties being made public. Citing privacy grounds, the Pentagon
had deleted their names from detention-hearing transcripts provided
to the Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff noted that the government had made no
national security claim, and that he needed to know the detainees'
views on whether they wanted their privacy protected.

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