Uthman Resources 2011


By Benjamin Wittes


Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, a Guantanamo habeas petitioner, has filed a cert petition, asking the Supreme Court to review the D.C. Circuit’s March decision in his case. The cert petition presents two questions for review:

1. Whether the Authorization of Use of Military Force, Pub. L. No. 107-40, 115 Stat. 224 (2001) (‘‘AUMF”), authorizes the President to detain, indefinitely and possibly for the rest of his life, an individual who was not shown to have fought for al Qaeda, trained to fight for al Qaeda, or received or executed orders from al Qaeda, and was not claimed to have provided material support to al Qaeda.

2. Whether the AUMF, as applied by the court of appeals for the D.C. Circuit, violates the command of Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723, 768 (2008), that “[t]he habeas court . . . [will] . . . conduct a meaningful review of . . . the Executive’s power to detain” an individual, and violates the Suspension Clause, U.S. CONST. art. I, § 9, cl. 2.

The petition presents a direct, frontal attack on the manner in which the D.C. Circuit assesses whether a detainee is “part of” an enemy group. Its principal reason for granting the writ begins as follows:

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