U.S. Federal Court Judge Reggie B. Walton today denied all motions in sixteen cases pending before his court regarding the detentions at the Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp on the grounds that the Military Commissions Act (MCA) stripped the court of jurisdiction. In his decision he stated, "Until the District of Columbia Circuit resolves the jurisdictional questions raised by the MCA, it is this court's view that it lacks the authority to take any action in these cases." The denials were without prejudice, meaning that plaintiffs could move to reinstate the motions after the higher court rules on MCA questions. Other judges with Guantánamo cases have reached different conclusions and not denied all motions before them. Walton's decision affects over 200 individuals currently imprisoned at Guantanamo.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents the detainees and coordinates the work of 500 pro bono counsel on Guantánamo cases, maintains that the MCA is unconstitutional and supports the position of Judge Gladys Kessler, another federal judge with Guantánamo cases before her, that "Justice delayed is justice denied."
Attorneys from the Center for Constitutional Rights are available for comment on this latest development.