Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 2021 SL770
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
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Bush Administration Wins Appeal in Jose Padilla Case
Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) -- The Bush administration can indefinitely detain a U.S. citizen it determines to be an enemy combatant in the war on terrorism, a federal appeals court ruled.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, ruled against Jose Padilla, the only U.S. citizen being held as an enemy combatant. The administration alleges Padilla, in custody without trial for three years, fought against U.S. forces in Afghanistan and was recruited by al-Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks in the U.S. Today's decision reverses a federal judge's ruling that he can't be held without trial.
"We conclude that the president does possess such authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Joint Resolution enacted by Congress in the wake of the attacks on the United States of Sept. 11, 2001," the three-judge panel said.
Padilla, a Muslim convert and former gang member, was arrested in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in May 2002. He was designated an enemy combatant by President George W. Bush one month later and was sent to a Navy jail in South Carolina, where he remains. The Bush administration says such detentions are necessary to prevent terrorism in the U.S.
The case is a test of the government's power to detain U.S. citizens without trial and will return to the Supreme Court, according to Andrew Patel, the lawyer representing Padilla.
"An appeal is certain," Patel said in an interview from his office in New York. "We think the appeals court decision is incorrect, and we think it is contrary to what the Supreme Court said'' in the case of Yaser Esam Hamdi.
Hamdi, the only other U.S. citizen ever held as an enemy combatant, was released and flown to Saudi Arabia last year. The Supreme Court ruled that Hamdi had the right to challenge the factual basis for his detention before a military tribunal.
The case is Padilla v. Hanft, 05-6396.
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