RealNews

Court to Rule on 'Enemy Combatant' Label

A federal appeals judge said Monday it would be “a sea change” in the Constitution to allow the Bush administration to designate a U.S. citizen suspected in an alleged dirty bomb plot as an enemy combatant. In a critical showdown between the government and civil rights lawyers, two members of a three-judge federal panel seemed hesitant to embrace the government’s reasoning for why Jose Padilla, 33, should be held indefinitely without access to a lawyer and without being charged. Padilla, a Muslim, is accused of plotting with al-Qaida to detonate a “dirty” bomb,” which uses conventional explosives to disperse radioactive materials. The former Chicago gang member was taken into custody in May 2002, and has spent most of the time since then in a naval brig in Charleston, S.C. Full Story

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