Supreme Court Fails to Take on Key GTMO Cases


April 4, 2011, New York and Washington – Today, the Supreme Court announced it will not hear three of the Guantánamo detainee cases it had been asked to review and delayed a decision on whether to take up the fourth. The Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement in response:

"We are deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s refusal so far to defend its Boumediene decision and other precedents from the open defiance of the D.C. Circuit.  The Supreme Court should have accepted review of these important cases and underscored that it meant what it said when it ruled that detainees should have a meaningful opportunity to challenge the factual and legal basis for their detention, and that the laws of war should indeed inform and limit the president’s authority to detain. 

"The Court’s denial of certiorari in these cases not only leaves critical issues relating to the scope of detention authority, the role of international law, and the adequacy and fairness of procedures of habeas review unexamined, with implications for every detainee case below, but effectively sanctions indefinite detentions at Guantanamo based on a distortion of the law.

"The role of the courts must be to act as a check on overreaching executive authority, especially when it relates to the detention and abuse of men without the meaningful ability to exercise their rights."

CCR has led the legal battle over Guantanamo for the last nine years – sending the first ever habeas attorney to the base and sending the first attorney to meet with an individual transferred from CIA “ghost detention” to Guantanamo. CCR has been responsible for organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country to represent the men at Guantanamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. In addition, CCR has been working to resettle men who remain at Guantánamo because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture.

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 

April 4, 2011