Via The Command Post we learn that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the dirty bomber case.
On December 18, a divided U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, ordered that Jose Padilla, the alleged “Dirty Bomber” who calls himself Abdullah al-Muhajir, be released from custody within thirty days. The appellate court concluded that “the President is without authority from Congress or the Constitution to order the detention and interrogation of Mr. Padilla.”
The Second Circuit's decision is extremely important and a controversial result.
Abdullah al-Muhajir is a suspect in an al-Qaeda plot to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States. He was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare airport as he returned from Pakistan. He was transported to Manhattan where he was held as a material witness in a federal grand jury terrorism investigation. The Bush administration later classified him as an enemy combatant and he was transferred to a Navy prison in South Carolina.
Right now the best article I can find about the Supreme Court agreeing to here the case is this Bloomberg article:
The government has information that "Padilla is closely associated with al-Qaeda and came to the United States to advance the conduct of terrorist operations" on behalf of Osama bin Laden's organization, Solicitor General Theodore Olson said in court papers filed in Washington.
The lower court ruling "significantly undermines the ability of the president to protect the nation from further enemy attacks in wartime," Olson said.
Olson said in court papers that al-Qaeda "has extended the battle far beyond traditional notions of battlefield combat" and seeks to carry out "surreptitious and large-scale attacks against civilian targets."
Padilla's lawyers urged the Supreme Court not to hear the government's appeal. Still, they said that, if the court granted review, the justices should decide whether Padilla has a right to a court hearing to challenge the government's reasons for holding him.
I have followed the “dirty bomber” case as a part of my concern about judicial secrecy. My posts about judicial secrecy can all be found here.
It is not at all surprising that the Supreme Court agreed to here this case. The real issue the Supreme Court needs to address is whether a U.S. citizen, designated as an enemy combatant, can be held without any opportunity to challenge the government's decision.