Supremes Will Hear Gitmo Cases

Inmates seek right to challenge confinement in federal court
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2007 10:25 AM CDT
In this 2006 file photo, reviewed by a US Department of Defense official, detainees stand together at a fence at Camp Delta prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba. The Bush administration...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Two Guantanamo Bay detainees will have their say before the Supreme Court, which today unexpectedly agreed to hear their cases in the term that begins this fall. The prisoners want permission to challenge their indefinite confinement in federal court. The high court had rejected an identical appeal in April, and the reversal is the first such action in decades, Reuters reports.

A 2006 law prevents federal courts from considering habeas corpus petitions from prisoners at the naval base. The decision to reconsider is a blow to the Bush administration, which urged the court to throw out the detainees' petitions. Three justices dissented from the April decision; today's announcement was made without comment less than a day after the 2006-07 term ended. (Read more White House stories.)