Panel to Detail Strength of Current Habeas Rights as Congress Grapples With Detention Issues

Report by 16 Former Federal Judges Say New Legislation to Address Guantanamo Detainee Habeas Rights is “Unwarranted”

As Congress continues to wrangle over tough questions related to detention policy, terrorism trials and national security, a panel of legal experts will urge elected officials to forego new legislation to guide federal courts in their review of habeas cases filed by Guantanamo detainees. In an upcoming Capitol Hill luncheon briefing, former federal judge Timothy Lewis and Guantanamo detainee defense attorney Douglas K. Spaulding will examine how the courts have been successful in developing an effective jurisprudence in habeas cases that addresses the government’s interest in national security while protecting the right of prisoners to fairly challenge their detention.

The briefing’s discussion will be largely based on a new report, Habeas Works: Federal Courts’ Proven Capacity to Handle Guantánamo Cases. The report was endorsed by 16 former federal judges who concluded that attacks on the judiciary’s ability to review habeas cases are unfounded, as are calls for Congressional intervention. Simply put, the report finds, habeas is working.

This event is open to the public. Cameras are not permitted, but members of the press are invited to attend. The panel will take questions from the audience and a light lunch will be served. To RSVP, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder (bowsersoderb@humanrightsifirst.org) or Dallas Jamison (djamison@constitutionproject.org).

WHAT: Legal Experts to Discuss Federal Court’s Ability to Handle Guantanamo Habeas Cases
WHO: Judge Timothy Lewis, United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, 1991 – 1992; United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,1992 – 1999

Douglas K. Spaulding, Reed Smith LLP, Habeas counsel to several Guantánamo detainees

WHEN: Monday, July 19, 2010, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
WHERE: U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, E Capitol St, NE & 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20510

(Room number provided upon RSVP)

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