Guantánamo and Beyond: A Blog on Executive Detention, National Security and Due Process

Sponsored by the Civil Rights Committee of the New York State Bar Association

by Hanna F. Madbak, Esq.

The D.C. District Court, on February 15, 2011, offered prisoners detained at the U.S. detention center located at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan a sliver of hope that they, like Guantánamo detainees, can challenge the legality of their detention on federal habeas review. The court revisited Al Maqaleh v. Gates and granted certain Bagram detainees' motion to amend their habeas petitions based on new evidence concerning the D.C. District Court's jurisdiction to hear their habeas cases.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush granted "enemy combatants" imprisoned at Guantánamo the constitutional right to challenge the legality of their detention on federal habeas review. Post Boumediene, the Bush and Obama administrations were required to justify the continued detention of Guantánamo detainees who filed habeas petitions, resulting in the release and return of a large population of Guantánamo inmates.

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