Lyle Denniston reports:
In a startling turn of events in the legal combat over the war on terrorism, the Supreme Court on Friday agreed to reconsider the appeals in the Guantanamo Bay detainee cases. It vacated its April 2 order denying review of the two packets of cases. The Court then granted review, consolidated the cases, and said they would be heard in a one-hour argument in the new Term starting Oct. 1. Such a switch by the Court — from denial to rehearing and new argument and decision — may not have occurred since 1947, in Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, legal sources said Friday.
The order also said that new briefs will be sought, after the D.C. Circuit rules in pending cases on how judicial review is to work for detainees under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. The cases to be reheard by the Supreme Court are Boumediene v. Bush (06-1195) and Al Odah v. U.S. (06-1196). In those cases, the D.C. Circuit ruled on Feb. 20 that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 had stripped detainees of their rights to bring habeas challenges to their confinement. That is the ruling that the Supreme Court left intact in April, but now will move forward to review.