Uthman v. Obama (D.D.C. Feb. 24, 2010) (granting habeas to a GTMO detainee)

February 26, 2010

* Uthman v. Obama (D.D.C. Feb. 24, 2010) (habeas granted – GTMO detainee)

Judge Kennedy on Wednesday granted habeas relief to GTMO detainee Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman. The underlying opinion is not yet available, however.

UT national security clinic job posting

February 25, 2010

* UT seeks applications for one-year, full-time position as Clinical Lecturer with its National Security Clinic

Please see the attached announcement! Hard to beat spending the year in Austin….


upcoming events – IHL at Berkeley (April 9-10)

February 25, 2010

* West Coast International Humanitarian Law Teaching Workshop, sponsored by the ICRC and Berkeley Law (April 9-10, at Berkeley)

For those who are interested in developing an IHL course, or refining one they already teach, this is going to be a terrific event. Indeed, it should be really interesting even if one does not plan to teach an IHL-oriented course (note that one session talks about ways to integrate IHL into other courses). See the attached flyer and agenda for details.

[Note that this is a different event from the upcoming “national security law scholarly workshop/IHL training” event taking place in Austin on April 1st and 2nd. Details as to the Austin event will circulate later today.]



habeas denied to two GTMO detainees: Fahmi Salem Al-Assani

February 25, 2010

* Al-Adahi v. Obama (D.D.C. Feb. 24, 2010) (Kessler, J.)

Judge Kessler has denied habeas relief to two GTMO detainees who are part of the group of petitioners in Al-Adahi v. Obama. The underlying opinions are not yet available but the orders are here:

Fahmi Salem Al-Assani:


Suleiman Awadh Bin Agil Al-Nahdi:


upcoming events

February 24, 2010

* Upcoming Events

First, the ABA SCOLANS breakfast program series continues on both March 3 and March 16, both dates from 8:00-9:00 a.m. at the University Club in DC.

On March 3 the guest speaker is Professor David Cole, Georgetown Law School, who delivered the oral argument for the plaintiffs in Holder v. HLP. Please RSVP BY FEB. 26 (see the attached form). You may pay at the door.

On March 16 the guest speaker is Harold Koh, Legal Advisor, U.S. Department of State. He will address the “The Role of Law in the Obama Administration’s National Security Policy.” See attached RSVP form.

Second, the annual Duke University Center on Law, Ethics, and National Security conference will take place this year on April 15 and 16, at Duke.

The theme this year is “National Security Challenges and the Obama Administration,” and a letter of invitation, program and registration form are attached.

Breakfast H. Koh March 16 2010.pdf

Cole Registration Form.pdf

Dear Colleague letter for 2010.pdf

2010springconferenceprogram as of 2-17-10(4 pages).doc

2010_Regular Registration Form.doc

Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project; 4 new GTMO transfers; forthcoming scholarship

February 24, 2010

1. Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project (S.Ct. oral argument was held yesterday)

This is the suit challenging the constitutionality of 18 USC 2339B (the 1996 material support statute). Oral argument was yesterday. For more insight, check out the brief podcasts (one by Peter Margulies of Roger Williams in defense of the statute, one by David Cole of Georgetown attacking the statute) provided by SCOTUSblog: http://www.scotusblog.com/2010/02/podcasts-holder-v-humanitarian-law-project/

2. More GTMO transfers

One unidentified GTMO detainee has just been transferred to Spain. Three (Saleh Bin Hadi Asasi, a native of Tunisia, Sharif Fati Ali al Mishad, a native of Egypt, and Abdul Rauf Omar Mohammad Abu al Qusin, a native of Libya) have just been sent to Albania. 188 detainees remain at GTMO.

3. Forthcoming Scholarship

National Security Case Studies: Special Case-Management Challenges

Robert Timothy Reagan

Federal Judicial Center

National security cases often pose unusual and challenging case-management issues for the courts. Evidence or arguments may be classified; witnesses or the jury may require special security measures; attorneys contacts with their clients may be diminished; other challenges may present themselves. The purpose of this Federal Judicial Center resource is to assemble methods federal judges have employed to meet these challenges so that judges facing the challenges can learn from their colleagues experiences. These case studies include background factual information about a selection of national security cases as well as descriptions of the judges challenges and solutions.The information presented is based on a review of case files and news media accounts and on interviews with the judges. Read the rest of this entry »

Al-Zahrani v. Rumsfeld (D.D.C. Feb. 16, 2010)

February 18, 2010

* Al-Zahrani v. Rumsfeld (D.D.C. Feb. 16, 2010)

Judge Huvelle has granted a motion to dismiss a civil suit against the United States and various officials, brought on behalf of two men who died at GTMO.  The suit asserted claims under the Alien Tort Statute, the Federal Tort Claims Act, and the Fifth and Eighth Amendments.  The full text appears below: Read the rest of this entry »

AG Holder’s Letter to Senator McConnel et al concerning Abdulmutallab

February 3, 2010

* AG Holder’s Letter to Senator McConnell et al concerning Abdulmutallab (Feb. 3, 2010)

A very interesting document released by DOJ today: a response by AG Holder to a request for information from a group of senators concerning the detention and interrogation of Abdulmutallab.  The document (5 pages) is posted here.

Key excerpts (highlights added):

In the days following December 25 – including during a meeting with the President and other senior members of his national security team on January 5 – high-level discussions ensued within the Administration in which the possibility of detaining Mr. Abdulmutallab under the law of war was explicitly discussed. No agency supported the use of law of war detention for Abdulmutallab, and no agency has since advised the Department of Justice that an alternative course of action should have been, or should now be, pursued. Read the rest of this entry »

audio for the January 25th “Mind the Gap” IHL presentation

February 3, 2010

I posted about this event last week. The audio is now available:

1.     Mind the Gap: International Human Rights Law and the Law of Armed Conflict?

Event Information
Monday, January 25 2010 / 2:30 pm
Tillar House – 2223 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Event Link

Professors Gabriella Blum and Geoffrey Corn have both recently published provocative articles that stake out quite different positions over the legal uncertainties posed by the applicability of human rights standards to situations where the law of war is applied. To what extent are human rights standards applicable in armed conflicts and in how far is the jurisprudence of regional human rights courts pertinent? For example, does human rights law preclude combatants in war from killing each other’s soldiers, regardless of their role, function, or degree of threat?

For audio of this event, please click here.

Panel This Evening on Kiyemba (Cardozo Law)

February 2, 2010

* “Legal Limbo?  The Meaning of Habeas Corpus for Detainees at Guantanamo Bay– A Panel Discussion on Kiyemba v. Obama”


Greg Garre:  Partner, Latham & Watkins; Former Solicitor General of the
United States

Vince Warren: Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights

Baher Azmy:  Professor, Seton Hall Law School

Moderator:  Vijay Padmanabhan, Visiting Professor, Cardozo Law School

6 PM Cardozo Law School Moot Court Room  Open to the Public.