Boumediene: the record so far

SCOTUS wraps up the Gitmo-habeas cases after the US SC Boumediene ruling. Although detainees have won a clear majority of the habeas trials, any actual release from captivity has come to depend almost entirely on what the Executive Branch is willing to do or able to arrange. Key facts:

* Of 38 cases in which federal District judges have completed habeas  trials, 29 detainees have been issued habeas writs. The US decided not to appeal 29 of 38 grants, two of them have been reversed or vacated. All but 5 of the 29 have been transferred. All but five of the 29 have left Guantanamo, after releases to other countries were  arranged through U.S. diplomatic efforts. The five who are still at Guantanamo are seeking, in their new petition (Kiyemba v. Obama, now known as “Kiyemba III,” docket 10-775) to test whether a federal judge has any authority to order and achieve actual release for a captive whom the government no longer insists on detaining.

* in 19 cases District judges have denied habeas writs. 1 denial was reversed and remanded (the Bensayeh case) and 1 grant was reversed in Al-Adahi

* 8 cases are currently pending on cert petitions at the Supreme Court:

4 (Awad, Al-Bihani, Al Odah and Al-Adahi) are seeking reversal of denial of habeas.

In a 5th case (Ameziene) the petitioner is seeking reversal of a ruling that the US may keep certain information secret (under seal).

In 2 cases regarding Algerian detainees (Mohammed and Khadr) the petitioners are seeking reversal of ruling that judges can’t enjoin transfer.

Last but not least in Kiyemba III the Uighurs are seeking the reversal of a ruling that judges can’t order transfers.


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