Can Canada Sway SCOTUS?

Canadian decision in a Guantanamo Bay case should guide U.S. Justices.

May 27, 2008

Appeared in Washington Independent May 27, 2008.

Canadian Decision in a Guantanamo Bay Case Should Guide U.S. Justices 

At the end of June, the Supreme Court is due to issue a ruling on the challenge filed by Guantánamo detainees to their detention and the denial of habeas corpus. All the current presidential candidates, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, have discussed their intention to close the offshore detention facility Guantanamo's continuing damage to America's global reputation figures prominently in their calculations.

Last week brought new confirmation of that damage with a Canadian Supreme Court judgment in the case of Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen detained at the Cuban base (pdf).

This decision raises intriguing questions. Coming just weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court is to rule, will it influence the high court's decision? Should it?

Read entire piece here...


Aziz Huq is counsel in several cases concerning detention and national security policy, including Omar v. Geren and Munaf v. Geren, challenges to US citizen's detention in Iraq. He has advised and spoken before legislators on issues related to the Separation of Powers, excessive secrecy, and illegal detention. His book with Fritz Schwarz, Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power In A Time of Terror (New Press), was published in 2007, and will be reissued in paperback in spring 2008. He is a frequent contributor to The Nation, the American Prospect, the New York Law Journal and Huffington Post. His articles have also appeared in the Washington Post, the New Republic, Democracy Journal, TomPaine, and Colorlines. In 2006 he was selected to be a Carnegie Fellows Scholar. He also teaches a seminar in Just War Theory and Terrorism at NYU School of Law.