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Rasul v. Bush

Docket No.: 03-334
Argued: April 20, 2004
Decided: June 28, 2004
Consolidated with: al Odah v. United States, No. 03-343

Topics:

28 USC 2241-2255 (habeas corpus), Criminal Procedure, Habeas Corpus, Administrative Procedure, Alien Tort Statute, Article I, Bill of Rights, Due Process, Fifth Amendment, Fourth Amendment, RICO, Suspension Clause, abuse of discretion, antitrust, habeas, habeas corpus, judicial review, separation of powers, stare decisis

PartyNames: Shafiq Rasul, et al. v. George W. Bush, President of the United States, et al.
Petitioner: Shafiq Rasul, et al.
Respondent: George W. Bush, President of the United States, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Citation: CA DC, 321 F.3d 1134. THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED FOR REVIEW: 1. Did the Court of Appeals err in extending this Court's decision in Johnson v. Eisentrager , 339 U.S.763 (1950), to create a rigid rule barring any United States court from ever, in any circumstance, considering a claim made by a foreign national held in U.S. custody outside U.S. sovereign territory? 2. Did the Court of Appeals err in holding categori cally that the Constitution gives "no constitutional rights, under the due process clause or otherwise," to foreign nationals who are subjected to injuriousaction by the U.S. Government unless they have se t foot physically within territory over which the United States has technical sovereignty (as distinguished from exclusive jurisdiction and control)? 3. Consistently with the Constitution, federal stat utes, regulations and treaties, and international law, may U.S. officials imprison citizens of friendly nations indefinitely without charges, without access totheir families or counsel, and without even a hear ing to determine whether any basis exists for their detentions, after transporting them forcibly thousands of miles to an area under the exclusivejurisdiction and control of the United States? 4. May U.S. government officials evade judicial examination of their actions in detaining people incommunicado, and escape the reach of the Constituti on and of federal law, simply by electing toconfine their prisoners in an area technically outside U.S. sovereign territory although within its
Supreme Court Docket

Shafiq Rasul, et al.
v.
George W. Bush, President of the United States, et al.
542 U.S. 466 (2004)
Background:

: Petitioners are citizens of Great Britain and Australia. Seized abroad in apparent connection with theUnited States' "War on Terrorism," they have been incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without charges or proof of wrongdoing, and with no oppo rtunity to establish their innocence, for over 18months. The Government claims it may hold Petitioners under these conditions indefinitely, and that no court has jurisdiction to review the cause for their detention. The courts below agreed. In this context, the case presents the following questions: I. In Johnson v. Eisentrager , 339 U.S. 763 (1950), the Court held that enemy aliens who had beenconvicted by a lawful military commission of violating the laws of war in China, and who had never been under the exclusive control of the United St ates, could not obtain further review of theirconvictions in federal court. Did the courts below err in extending Johnson to deny Petitioners a judicial forum in which to question the factual basis for their detention or its legality under the Constitution and international law?II. Did the courts below err in holding categorically that the Constitution gives "no constitutional rights, under the due process clause or otherwise, "to foreign nationals who are subjected to injurious action by the Government of the United States unless they have set foot within territory over whichthe United States has "ultimate sovereignty" (as distinguished from exclusive jurisdiction and control?). III. Does the Due Process clause of the Fifth Amendment permit the United States to detain foreignnationals indefinitely, in solitary confinement, without charges and without recourse to any legal process, so long as they are held outside the "ult imate sovereignty" of the United States, even whenthey are held in territory over which the United States has exclusive jurisdiction and control? 03-343 AL ODAH v. UNITED STATES . CA DC, 321 F.3d 1134. THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED FOR REVIEW:

Consideration Limited:

Limited to the following question:Whether United States courts lack jurisdiction to co nsider challenges to the legality of the detention of foreign nationals captured abroad in connection with hostilities and incarcerated at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.

Question Presented:

1. Did the Court of Appeals err in extending this Court's decision in Johnson v. Eisentrager , 339 U.S.763 (1950), to create a rigid rule barring any United States court from ever, in any circumstance, considering a claim made by a foreign national held in U.S. custody outside U.S. sovereign territory? 2. Did the Court of Appeals err in holding categori cally that the Constitution gives "no constitutional rights, under the due process clause or otherwise," to foreign nationals who are subjected to injuriousaction by the U.S. Government unless they have se t foot physically within territory over which the United States has technical sovereignty (as distinguished from exclusive jurisdiction and control)? 3. Consistently with the Constitution, federal stat utes, regulations and treaties, and international law, may U.S. officials imprison citizens of friendly nations indefinitely without charges, without access totheir families or counsel, and without even a hear ing to determine whether any basis exists for their detentions, after transporting them forcibly thousands of miles to an area under the exclusivejurisdiction and control of the United States? 4. May U.S. government officials evade judicial examination of their actions in detaining people incommunicado, and escape the reach of the Constituti on and of federal law, simply by electing toconfine their prisoners in an area technically outside U.S. sovereign territory although within its exclusive jurisdiction and control? CERT. GRANTED: 11/10/03Consolidated for one hour oral argument. Limited to the following question:Whether United States courts lack jurisdiction to co nsider challenges to the legality of the detention of foreign nationals captured abroad in connection with hostilities and incarcerated at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.

Question:

Do United States courts have jurisdiction to consider legal appeals filed on behalf of foreign citizens held by the United States military in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba?

Note:

. CA DC, 321 F.3d 1134.

Rasul v. Bush
ORAL ARGUMENT

April 20, 2004

Holding: reversed and remanded
Decision: Decision: 6 votes for Rasul, 3 vote(s) against
Vote: 6-3
Opinion By:

Rasul v. Bush
Case Documents

1Slip Opinion in Rasul v. Bush (Opinion by )
2Opinion in Rasul v. Bush
3Opinion in Rasul v. Bush
Additional documents for this case are pending review.