The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

James Freedland, (646) 785-1894 or (212) 549-2666;

Supreme Court Agrees to Review ACLU's Landmark Indefinite Detention Case

Sweeping Executive Power Claims Challenged in Al-Marri Case


Supreme Court today agreed to review the Bush administration's claim
that it can indefinitely imprison a legal resident of the United States
without charge or trial. The case was filed on behalf of Ali Saleh
Kahlah al-Marri, who has been detained in solitary confinement at a
Navy brig in South Carolina since June 2003. Al-Marri asked the Court
to reverse a federal appeals court decision that gave the president
sweeping power to deprive individuals in the United States of their
most basic constitutional rights by designating them as "enemy

The following can be attributed to
Jonathan Hafetz, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project
and counsel for al-Marri:

"We are pleased that the Supreme
Court has accepted Mr. al-Marri's case for review. The president has
deviated from the principles on which the United States and its
Constitution were founded: that individuals cannot be imprisoned for
suspected wrongdoing without being charged with a crime and tried
before a jury. We are confident that upon review, the Court will strike
down this radical - and unnecessary - departure from our nation's most
basic values."

The following can be attributed to Steven R. Shapiro, Legal Director of the ACLU:

"We are hopeful that the Court will
reverse the appeals court decision and ensure that people in this
country cannot be seized from their homes and imprisoned indefinitely
simply because the president says so. This sweeping claim of executive
authority violates America's best traditions and defies fundamental
principles of due process that have governed the nation since its

The ACLU's petition for Supreme Court review is available online at:

Attorneys on the case are Hafetz,
Shapiro and Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU; Aziz Huq and Emily Berman of the
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law; Andrew J. Savage, III
of the law firm Savage & Savage, P.A.; John J. Gibbons and Lawrence
S. Lustberg of the law firm Gibbons, P.C.; and Sidney S. Rosdeitcher of
the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP.

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666