Jennifer K. Elsea Legislative Attorney
Michael John Garcia Legislative Attorney
As part of the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the United States has captured and detained numerous persons believed to have been part of or associated with enemy forces. Over the years, federal courts have considered a multitude of petitions by or on behalf of suspected belligerents challenging aspects of U.S. detention policy. Although the Supreme Court has issued definitive rulings concerning several legal issues raised in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, many others remain unresolved, with some the subject of ongoing litigation.
This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance to U.S. detention policy. The report also addresses a few notable decisions by federal district courts that are the subject of ongoing habeas litigation. Finally, it describes a few federal court rulings in criminal cases involving persons who were either involved in the 9/11 attacks or were captured abroad by U.S. forces during operations against Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated entities.