Update on Kiyemba
In October, the RACblog's "Focus on the Court" series highlighted the Supreme Court's grant of the cert petition in Kiyemba v. Obama. As you will remember, this case involved 13 men from the Muslim-Chinese Uighur community being held at Guantanamo Bay. While these men had been cleared of any charges, they were not able to leave Guantanamo because they had no place to go. They feared returning to China because of religious persecution and only a few of them had been offered asylum in other countries. The question before the Justices was whether the Administration or judges had the authority to decide whether these men could be released in the United States. This case was slated to be the first time that the Obama Administration would argue before the Court in a case related to the war on terror.
However, yesterday, the Supreme Court issued an unsigned order dismissing the case (only three weeks before the scheduled oral arguments), due to changed facts that the lower courts had not considered. They stated:
"[E]ach of the detainees at issue in this case has received at least one offer of resettlement in another country. Most of the detainees have accepted an offer of resettlement; five detainees, however, have rejected two such offers and are still being held at Guantanamo Bay. This change in the underlying facts may affect the legal issues presented. No court has yet ruled in this case in light of the new facts, and we decline to be the first to do so."
While the dismissal of this case will certainly make headlines, the biggest news about the Supreme Court this week will be today's oral arguments in McDonald v. Chicago, which questions whether the Second Amendment right to bear arms should be applied to the states. Check the RACblog on Friday for a "Focus on the Court" post about this monumental case!