SCT grants cert in Al-Marri

* Al Marri v. Pucciarelli (08-368) – cert granted

The Supreme Court has granted cert in connection with the Fourth Circuit’s splintered en banc decision in Al-Marri, and thus is set to engage the questions whether the 9/18/01 AUMF authorizes—and if so whether the Constitution allows—military detention of a noncitizen seized in the U.S. in connection with allegations of being an al Qaeda agent.

One wonders whether the Court will reach the merits, however.  It is not difficult to imagine the Obama administration deciding to shift Al-Marri back to the civilian criminal justice system to face material support or other charges (to be followed by deportation upon completion of any sentence).  That assumes, of course, that there is sufficient admissible evidence to support that course, which may or may not be the case.

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