KIYEMBA v. OBAMA
Seventeen ethnic Uighurs, Chinese citizens detained at Guantanamo Bay Naval- Base, Cuba sought federal habeas corpus relief in the District of Columbia federal district court. The petitioners argued that since they were no longer considered "enemy combatants" they were entitled to transfer and release from Guantanamo Bay. The petitioners feared that a transfer to China would lead to their arrest, torture, or execution. Therefore, they sought a transfer to the United States where they could be released safely. The district court granted the petition and ordered their transfer and release into the United States.
On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed the district court, holding that the district court lacked authority to order the petitioners' transfer and release into the United States. The court reasoned that only the political branches of government may determine the admissibility of aliens into the United States. Without specific authorization by statute, treaty, or the Constitution, the district court could not grant the relief sought by the petitioners.
- Brief of Amici Curiae National Immigrant Justice Center, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Advocates for Human Rights, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Central American Resource Center, Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, the Florence Immigrant
- Brief of Charles B. Gittings Jr. In Support of Petitioners
- Brief of International Law Experts as Amici Curiae In Support of Petitioners
- Amicus Curiae Brief of the Federal Public Defender for the District Court of Oregon In Support of Petitioners
- Brief of the Public International Law & Policy Group as Amicus Curiae In Support of Petitioners
- Brief of Retired Federal Judges as Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioners
- Brief of the Right Honourable Lord Goldsmith Qc And 252 Other Members of Both Houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain And Northern Ireland, the European Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, And the Welsh Assembly as Amici Curiae In Sup
- Brief of Scott C. Black, Lt. Gen. Us Army (ret.), John D. Altenburg, Maj. Gen., Us Army (ret.), James J. Carey, Rear Adm., Usn (ret.), Steven B. Kantrowitz, Rear Adm., Usn (ret.), Michael Nardotti, Maj. Gen., U.s. Army (ret.), Thomas L. Hemingway, Brig. G
Does a federal district court exercising its habeas corpus jurisdiction have the power to order the release of prisoners held under Executive Order at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into the United States?
Not answered. In a per curiam opinion, the Supreme Court stated that most of the detainees at issue in the case had been offered resettlement in another country -- most of whom had accepted. The Court explained that this change in the underlying facts of the case may affect the legal issues presented. As the Supreme Court is not a court of first view, but rather a court of review, it remanded the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to determine what further proceedings in that court or the district court are necessary for the timely disposition of the case.