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Supreme Court Won't Hear Detainees' Appeals

The Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal from Guantanamo Bay detainees who want to challenge their imprisonment. The refusal to review the federal law delivered a major, though perhaps temporary, victory to the Bush administration.

The law strips prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, of the right to challenge their detentions in court.

The justices don't normally give their reasons for not taking cases, but this time, two justices released a statement saying they're waiting to see if the special military courts adequately handle the detainees.


But in the detainee ruling, Justices Stevens and Kennedy said they would be in favor of hearing an appeal if the Bush administration delays the military proceedings.

For now, the detainee cases will go back to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which under the Detainee Treatment Act is designated as the only court designated to review detainee proceedings.

The appeals court, however, has only limited jurisdiction. It cannot hear any new evidence, and it must accept the evidence of combat status review panels set up by the military to determine whether a prisoner is an enemy combatant.

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