October 27, 2008
Al-Marri Amicus Cites HRF Report and Recognizes Usefulness of Federal Courts in Trying Terrorism Cases
On October 23, a group of former federal judges and former senior Justice Department officials submitted an amicus brief in the case of Al-Marri v. Pucciarelli. The brief asks the Supreme Court to reconsider a ruling by the Fourth Circuit holding that the government has the power to arrest and imprison suspected terrorists inside the United States – U.S. citizens included – and hold them indefinitely without criminal charge. The amicus calls the President’s actions an “unprecedented expansion of Executive authority” that is “wholly unnecessary” since past cases prove that federal courts are well-equipped to handle terrorism cases. In particular, the brief touts the success of the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) in protecting classified information in federal prosecutions and supports its argument by citing a recent HRF report entitled In Pursuit of Justice: Prosecuting Terrorism Cases in Federal Courts: “Indeed, a recent study concludes that ‘CIPA has provided a flexible, practical mechanism for problems posed by classified evidence,’ citing at least eighteen terrorism cases where CIPA has been employed successfully.” Read the entire amicus brief here.