TRAC study of terrorism prosecution data; Abdullah v. Bush (GTMO discovery order)

September 28, 2009

1. Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, “Who Is A Terrorist? Government Failure to Define Terrorism Undermines Enforcement, Puts Civil Liberties at Risk”

TRAC’s latest report based on government data provided under FOIA is posted here (and useful commentary from Greg McNeal (VAP, Penn State) is here).  My own sense of this one, briefly stated, is that TRAC has again drawn useful attention to the data-collection problems associated with case-coding practices for federal prosecutors and to the larger dilemma of identifying which cases ought to count as “terrorism-related,” but also that TRAC has again overstated the conclusions to be drawn from these problems.  In any event, it is worth reading the document, which prints out to about 10 pages.

2. Abdullah v. Bush (D.D.C. Sep. 28, 2009) (GTMO habeas discovery order)

Judge Roberts has granted a discovery request by a GTMO detainee who sought all recordings, original notes, and other memoranda of interrogation sessions that produced statements upon which the government now seeks to rely, rejecting the government’s argument that it was sufficient to produce copies of the statements in question as part of the factual return (and also rejecting the argument that the searches involved in obtaining these other iterations of the statement would be unduly burdensome).

national security law in the Supreme Court’s upcoming term: Round-Up (I)

September 28, 2009

* National Security Law in the Upcoming Supreme Court Term

It remains to be seen whether the Court will take any major national security law cases for the upcoming term.  I list a few candidates below based on what already has been considered or is about to be considered by the Court during its cert. conferences. Please let me know if you have in mind some additional cases that have a reasonable chance of being heard this term, and I will circulate an updated roster. Read the rest of this entry »