New Guantanamo Challenge Questions Congressional Power

Posted August 5, 2013 at 1:23pm

Lyle Denniston looks at the latest challenge to detention policies at the Guantanamo Bay military facility, featuring “a Syrian man who has been cleared by the Obama Administration to leave the military prison on the island of Cuba has filed a sweeping new constitutional challenge in federal court to congressional restrictions on his release.”

“While those restrictions do not impose a flat ban on presidential decisions to release prisoners from Guantanamo, they do restrict that power because government officials must make a series of findings to justify each such release.”

“In the new filing in Ajam’s case, his lawyers contended that what is at stake in Guantanamo release decisions is the same presidential power that was used in ordering his detention — that is, the power to use military “force” against him. Just as the President claims the power to invoke that authority to require detention, the document argued, the President has the authority to decide when not to apply that power any longer.”

Crossposted from Wonk Wire.