Guantánamo Attorneys Blast Trump “Keep Gitmo Open” Order

Courts, Not Trump, Will Decide Fate of Prisoners, Attorneys Say

January 30, New York
– In response to Donald Trump’s statement in tonight’s State of the Union address that he is issuing an executive order to keep open the prison at Guantánamo Bay, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following
Trump has made no secret of his intention to keep Guantánamo open, touting it as far back as the 2016 presidential campaign, despite both the Bush and Obama administrations' recognition that the prison should be closed for moral, national security, and diplomatic reasons. It is unsurprising given Trump’s deep-seated racism, his well-documented antipathy toward all Muslims, and his endless puffing and posturing. The entire Trump White House is stacked with white supremacists who are blinded to reason by ignorance and bigotry.

Trump’s planned executive order is not the last word on the fate of Guantánamo, any more than his attempted Muslim bans and arbitrary transgender military ban—struck down by the courts—were the last word on those matters. CCR has filed a new legal challenge to the illegality and racism driving Trump’s Guantánamo policy and demanding detainees’ release. It is the courts, not the authoritarian-in-chief, that will ultimately determine the fate of the men detained at Guantánamo.

On January 11, 2018, the 16th anniversary of the opening of the Guantánamo prison, CCR, Reprieve, and co-counsel filed the first major challenge to Donald Trump’s continued detention of men at the prison. Visit CCR’s resource page for more information.

The Center for Constitutional Rights has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for more than 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 30, 2018