Mukasey Calls on Congress to Set Rules for Gitmo Habeas Cases

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Attorney General Michael Mukasey called on Congress yesterday to craft ground rules for federal appeals filed by detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.

Mukasey outlined his recommendations for legislation in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Legal Times reports. If Congress doesn’t act, he said, judges will set the rules, posing “a serious risk of inconsistent rulings and considerable uncertainty,” the Washington Post reports.

He said Congress should bar federal judges from releasing detainees into the United States, allow the detainees to participate in the hearings from Guantanamo through video hookups, and restrict discovery to protect national security.

“We cannot turn habeas corpus proceedings into a smorgasbord of classified information for our enemies,” Mukasey said, according to an account in the New York Sun.

Mukasey also said the legislation should state that the executive branch has a right to detain indefinitely those who have supported al-Qaida or engaged in hostilities.

Detainees won the right to habeas appeals in last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Boumediene v. Bush. About 200 detainee cases are pending in federal court in Washington, D.C.

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