Lawyers for detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention center argued today in court that a new policy requiring genital searches of their clients before meetings and phone calls was degrading and part of an attempt to discourage communication with counsel.
U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth heard argument today on emergency motions filed by the detainees' lawyers to block the new search policy, which also applied to detainees' phone calls with family. Covington & Burling senior counsel S. William Livingston called the policy a situation "where something that isn't broken is being fixed." Much of the 90-minute hearing was sealed.
Lamberth did not rule from the bench and did not give any indication on how he might rule during the public portion of the hearing. The judge previously has struck down attempts by the federal government to change policies governing access to counsel at the detention facility.