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UPDATE: Court puts Boumediene into effect

UPDATE 4:55 p.m.

The Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon put into immediate effect its ruling a week ago on detainees’ legal rights.  It did so automatically after Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the author of the detainee ruling, approved prompt issuance of the judgment in the two cases.


Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees asked the Supreme Court to put into effect immediately its June 12 ruling giving the prisoners a constitutional right to challenge their confinement in civilian court.  In an application that the Justice Department does not oppose, the attorneys on Thursday asked that the judgment be issued “forthwith” in Boumediene v. Bush (06-1195) and Al Odah v. U.S. (06-1196).

Ordinarily, the final formal paper implementing a decision is not sent to a lower court for 25 days, but the Court’s rules allow quicker action.  The detainees’ lawyers said that “immediate issuance [of the judgment] is particularly appropriate given the Court’s recognition of [detainees’] right to a prompt hearing on the merits of their habeas corpus cases.”