RealNews

Padilla case going to appeals court

A federal judge Wednesday cleared the way for an appeals court to decide whether President Bush had the authority to designate a U.S. citizen an enemy combatant and let him be questioned indefinitely in an alleged plot to set off a radiological “dirty bomb.” U.S. District Judge Michael Mukasey also asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review his opinion that defense attorneys have the right to visit with Padilla, which the government has refused to allow. The government has so far won the central legal argument in Mukasey’s court — that the president acted lawfully last June when he labeled Padilla an unlawful combatant and transferred his custody from the Justice Department to the Defense Department. Padilla, 31, a former Chicago gang member, has been held at a naval brig in Charleston, South Carolina, since Bush designated him an enemy combatant. He was arrested last May as he returned from a trip to Pakistan. Full Story

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