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Wide support for Al-Marri

Awaiting word on President Obama’s position on domestic detention of terrorism suspects, lawyers for the only detainee being held inside the U.S. have gained a wide array of support for his Supreme Court appeal.  A total of 18 amicus briefs have been filed in the case, Al-Marri v. Spagone (08-368).   All of the briefs are collected at this site of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the Qatari national at the center of the case, Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri.

Among the supporting briefs are submissions by former U.S. diplomats, former judges, ex-officials of the Justice Department, experts on counter-terrorism, former national security officials, retired military officers, a broad spectrum of scholars of history and law, and legal advocacy groups.

The government’s brief in the case had been due on Feb. 20, but the Court on Jan. 23 extended the time for filing that document until March 23, at the request of the Obama Administration.  The President, as part of a sweeping new review of detainee policy, has set up a special study group to analyze the Al-Marri case and the fundamental constitutional issue it raises.  The President’s order on Jan. 22 said the study of the case was to “commence immediately.”

It appears that, if the case proceeds before the Court, it would be heard in the argument session that begins on April 20.