The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Daniel Schuman

Administration Decision on 'Enemy Combatant' Definition Expected Today

Key Question of Whether Obama Administration Will Retain Bush Administration's Broad Definition of "Enemy Combatant" in Its Court Filing Responding to Lawsuits Brought by Guantanamo Detainees


Today, the Obama administration is expected to file its
response to a federal judge's order to define whom it may hold as an "enemy
combatant." U.S. District Judge John Bates is overseeing habeas lawsuits filed by Guantanamo
detainees challenging their detention.

Judge Bates said he will not allow the trials to proceed
without a definition of "enemy combatant" and asked the Obama administration to
clarify by March 13 whether it will "refine" the Bush administration's definition
of the term. In his order, Judge Bates explained that courts "must have a
clear, uniform understanding of the key legal standard to be applied" before
the trial on the merits of the case can begin.

For background information on the
lawsuits, and a reaction once the Obama administration files its response, the
Constitution Project is pleased to make available Stephen Abraham, who is
available from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. EST at 949-878-8608.

A member of the Constitution
Project's Liberty
and Security Committee, Mr. Abraham retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of
Lieutenant Colonel after 26 years of active and reserve service. He was the
first officer to criticize publicly the operation of the Combatant Status
Review Tribunals, filing an affidavit before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Guantanamo detainee habeas case Boumediene v. Bush. He currently practices law in California.

The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at