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NEW YORK (CNN) -- In a setback to the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policies, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the president does not have the power to detain an American citizen seized on U.S. soil as an enemy combatant.
In a 65-page decision, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 that the U.S. government must release Jose Padilla from military custody within 30 days.
"The government can transfer Padilla to appropriate civilian authorities who can bring criminal charges against him," the order said.
Padilla has been held in a South Carolina naval brig for the past year and a half.
"It's reassuring that constitutional protections that we are all entitled to as citizens were confirmed. And we look forward to meeting our client," said attorney Donna Newman.
The U.S. government could ask for a stay of the order or ask the full panel of the appeals court to hear the case.
In November, the appeals court panel cast doubt Monday on whether the Bush administration had the authority to designate Padilla an "enemy combatant" and detain him indefinitely without criminal charges. (Full story)
In a legal showdown likely to go to the Supreme Court, the government maintained that Bush's military moves in the war on terrorism were not subject to judicial review.
Padilla, 33, accused of being an al Qaeda operative, has been in federal custody since he arrived in Chicago, Illinois, in May 2002 on a flight from Pakistan. He was initially arrested as a material witness for the grand jury probe into the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The government maintains Padilla received explosives training in al Qaeda camps inside Afghanistan and plotted with the group to bomb hotels and gas stations, and to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" -- a conventional explosive laced with radioactive material -- inside the United States.
Defense attorneys maintain Padilla traveled to Chicago to visit his son.
The government never levied criminal charges against Padilla before President Bush declared in June 2002 that he represented a "grave danger to the national security" of the nation, reclassifying him as an enemy combatant, and transferring him to military custody, where he has remained incommunicado
-------------------- All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.
Re: padilla case: citizens cannot be held as enemy combatants [Re: afoaf] #2187583 - 12/18/03 12:22 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)
You liberals would be screaming howls of protest if that activism were turned around.
Bork was right.
Do you really think that just because a court decides something it must be correct? If so, you would have no problem with the Supreme Court's rendering of the Presidential election of 2000. I doubt that is the case.
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