Justice Department lawyers are contemplating a massive do-over of the military’s combat-status hearings originally held in 2004 and 2005, according to The New York Times. The move, suggested in a government brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit late Friday, is meant to “fight off a recent court ruling in a case in which detainees have challenged their detention based on the first round of status review hearings.”
Two weeks ago, the D.C. Circuit denied the government’s request to rehear a case about the breadth of information Justice Department lawyers are required to submit to the court for review. The court ruled in July that the government must turn over all “reasonably available” information about detainees who are challenging their status as enemy combatants. The Justice Department argued in its rehearing petition that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to gather information from the CSRTs because the records were incomplete, and some were missing or destroyed.
The court, in an Oct. 3rd ruling, suggested another route: Convene new hearings. About 130 detainees are challenging their status in the D.C. Circuit. Lawyers say holding new hearings could help the government avoid broad disclosure in the court-review process.