July 15, 2005


The Department of Defense won an important legal victory this morning in the Hamdan case. The United States Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. reversed a district court decision that Hamdan, who admits he was Osama bin Laden's driver in Afghanistan, could not be tried by a military commission unless a "competent tribunal" first determined that he was not a prisoner of war under the Geneva Convention. The Court concluded that the Geneva Convention is not enforceable in federal court. It also found that a military commission is a "competent tribunal," and thus that such a commission can try Hamdan and, in doing so, decide his claim that he's entitled to prisoner of war status.

No link to the opinion yet.

UPDATE: Link here, via (of course) Howard Bashman. I notice that the case was argued by my law school classmate Peter Keisler.