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Daily Archives: May 10, 2014

Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings

CRS – Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings. Jennifer K. Elsea, Legislative Attorney; Michael John Garcia, Legislative Attorney. April 21, 2014

“As part of the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the United States has captured and detained numerous persons believed to have been part of or associated with enemy forces. Over the years, federal courts have considered a multitude of petitions by or on behalf of suspected belligerents challenging aspects of U.S. detention policy. Although the Supreme Court has issued definitive rulings concerning several legal issues raised in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, many others remain unresolved, with some the subject of ongoing litigation. This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance. In particular, it summarizes notable decisions which have (1) addressed whether the Executive may lawfully detain only persons who are “part of” Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and affiliated groups, or also those who provide support to such entities in their hostilities against the United States and its allies; (2) adopted a functional approach for assessing whether a personis “part of” Al Qaeda; (3) decided that a preponderance of evidence standard is appropriate for detainee habeas cases, but suggested that a lower standard might be constitutionally permissible, and instructed courts to assess the cumulative weight of evidence rather than each piece of evidence in isolation; (4) determined that Guantanamo detainees have a limited right to challenge their proposed transfer to foreign custody, but denied courts the authority to order detainees released into the United States; and (5) held that the constitutional writ of habeas does not extend to noncitizen detainees held at U.S.-operated facilities in Afghanistan. Finally, the report discusses a few criminal cases involving persons who were either involved in the 9/11 attacks or were captured abroad by U.S. forces or allies during operations against Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated entities, as well as reviews of military commission cases in federal appellate courts. For over a decade, the primary legal authority governing the detention of enemy belligerents in the conflict with Al Qaeda was the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (“AUMF,” P.L. 107-40). In December 2011, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 (“2012 NDAA,” P.L. 112-81), which contains a provision that is largely intended to codify the current understanding of the detention authority conferred by the AUMF, as has been interpreted and applied by the Executive and the D.C. Circuit. The full implications of the 2012 NDAA upon wartime detention jurisprudence remain to be seen. In any event, the act does not address many of the legal issues involving wartime detention that have not been squarely resolved by the Supreme Court. Among other things, these unresolved issues include the precise scope of the Executive’s wartime detention authority, including the circumstances in which U.S. citizens may be detained; the degree to which noncitizens (or in one case, U.S. citizens) held abroad are entitled to protections under the Constitution; the authority of federal habeas courts to compel the release into the United States of detainees determined to be unlawfully held; and the ability of detainees to receive advance notice and to challenge their proposed transfer to foreign custody.”

The Understanding the Brain Portal

“The National Science Foundation’s goal is to enable scientific understanding of the full complexity of the brain, in action and in context, through targeted, cross-disciplinary investments in research, technology, and workforce development. Understanding the Brain activities promise innovative and integrated solutions to challenges in our ability to predict how collective interactions between brain function and our physical andContinue Reading

The First Report of White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault

NOT ALONE - The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, April 2014.

The Application of Visual Analytics to Financial Stability Monitoring

The Application of Visual Analytics to Financial Stability Monitoring (5/9/2014) Mark D. Flood, Victoria L. Lemieux, Margaret Varga, B.L. William Wong. “This paper provides an overview of visual analytics — the science of analytical reasoning enhanced by interactive visualizations tightly coupled with data analytics software — and discusses its potential benefits in monitoring systemic financial stability. Macroprudential supervisors faceContinue Reading

Consumer Product Safety Information Database website of U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC’sContinue Reading

Privacy Case Moves Forward Against Facebook and Zynga

EPIC: “The Ninth Circuit found that the companies may have violated Facebook’s privacy policies when they disclosed user information for advertising purposes. Separately, the court ruled that there was no violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act because the data disclosed (including Facebook IDs and HTTP referers) is not “contents” of a communication. Congress is set to consider several ECPA reforms,Continue Reading

The Last Man at Nuremberg

Via the Atlantic, by Emma Green: The Last Man at Nuremberg The life of 95-year-old Benjamin Ferencz, the only living prosecutor from the war-crime trials that followed the Holocaust “Benjamin Ferencz was 27 when the Einsatzgruppen trial began in 1947. There were 22 defendants, all men, all members of the German SS. “One of the counsel has characterized thisContinue Reading

The Increasing Happiness of Parents

The Increasing Happiness of Parents, Chris M. Herbst and John Ifcher, Working Paper No. 2014-05-SCU-ECON. Economics Department, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University. 2014. “Previous research suggests that parents may be less happy than non-parents. We critically assess the extant literature and reexamine the relationship between parental status and happiness using the General Social Survey (N = 42,298)Continue Reading