Court Orders Government to Clarify Guantánamo Policy, Attorneys React

January 18, 2018, New York – As a result of the legal challenge to Trump’s policy of discriminatory, indefinite detention filed last week by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel, a court today ordered the federal government to provide information about its Guantánamo policy. CCR issued the following statement:

We welcome the court’s prompt response to our collective action, and its order to the administration to state its plan and intentions for the prisoners being held without charge, including those previously approved for transfer by the government. However the Justice Department may respond in court, the administration’s actions and stated intentions have already spoken loudly. President Trump has declared that no detainee should be transferred from the prison. Accordingly, there has been no forward movement on Guantanamo for a full year. Men approved for transfer are still languishing with no prospect of release. Offices of special envoys tasked with negotiating transfers with foreign governments are officially or effectively defunct. And the Periodic Review Boards, while continuing in form, are devoid of real substance.    

As we’ve said before, context also matters. The President has demonstrated, through vulgar words and deeds, his animus toward Muslims and non-white foreigners. With respect to suspects of terrorism in particular, he has gone so far as to call for overt torture.  It is plain to us that Trump has no intention of moving any detainee out of Guantanamo, and won’t, without the intervention of the court. The only acceptable position at this point is for the prison to close and for the men who remain detained to be charged or released.

To learn more about last week’s mass filing in 11 Guantanamo men’s cases visit CCR’s resource page and CCR client Sharqawi al Hajj’s profile page, where today's order can be found.

CCR has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for 16 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country, ensuring that all the men detained at Guantánamo have had the option of legal representation. CCR is responsible for many Guantánamo cases in many venues, representing men in their habeas cases in federal court and before the military commissions and Periodic Review Boards, the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking accountability in international courts.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


Last modified 

January 18, 2018