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The Week Ahead

UPDATE: This cross petition was filed on Monday morning. See the post above for a discussion of the petition, and for links to the documents.
Early in the week, lawyers for five District of Columbia residents will file in the Supreme Court a cross-petition to the city government’s appeal on the constitutionality of the local handgun ban statute (District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290). The residents will ask the Court to find that they have standing to join in the case to help defend the law; standing was denied by the Circuit Court even as it upheld standing for a sixth resident, Dick Anthony Heller. To read the cert petition and appendix in 07-290, click here and here.

Thursday is the deadline for the federal government to provide the D.C. Circuit Court with the full record of government information about a Guantanamo Bay detainee, Saifullah Paracha. His case is the first one to be heard by a civilian court on the military decision to continue his detention. The Justice Department has asked for a postponement of the Thursday date. If it does not receive one, early in the week, it is expected to ask Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., for a stay. The blog will post developments as they occur.

On Friday, a three-judge panel of D.C. Circuit Court will hold a hearing on the religious rights of Islamic detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The hearing in Rasul, et al., v. Myers (Circuit dockets 06-5209, along with 06-5222) will begin at 9:30 a.m. A federal judge has ruled that RFRA does apply to the detainees; a coalition of religious groups has filed an amicus brief urging the Circuit Court to uphold that ruling. That issue is in a case consolidated with an appeal by the detainees, challegning the dismissal by the federal judge of their claims of torture and other forms of mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay.

Also on Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union will file a brief in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, renewing its plea for release of at least some parts of that Court’s orders authorizing electronic wiretapping that may reach some Americans’ telephone calls and e-mails. The ACLU is responding to a government brief arguing that no part of the orders may be released to the public without endangering national security.

No top side briefs are due at the Supreme Court this week. Bottom side briefs are due Thursday in Klein & Co. v. Board of Trade (06-1265).