Avoiding court dates

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Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy, Jr., ruled that 13 Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo, all of whom are currently challenging their detention, could not be moved to another country without 30 days’ advance notice provided to their lawyers. (See an earlier post on the case here.

Judge Kennedy didn’t base his decision on the grounds that the detainees might be tortured if sent to another country. Rather, he emphasized that the transfer of the detainees “would eliminate any opportunity…to ever obtain a fair adjudication of their fundamental right to test the legitimacy of their executive detention.” The right of the detainees to appeal their detainment, however, is still pending a decision. SCOTUSblog reports that the case will likely go to the Supreme Court, but that it could be a while—next fall at the earliest.

As Judge Kennedy noted, if the detainees were transferred abroad, the U.S. Courts would no longer have any jurisdiction over their claims. Hence, Kennedy’s decision throws a wrench in any plans the Bush administration might have had to make these lawsuits quietly disappear. On the other hand, even though the 30 days notice requirement is a positive step, the Yemenis’ cases won’t be heard in that timeframe, so it is still a possibility that the Bush administration could push to send the detainees out of Guantanamo before they even get their day in court.

Still, the ruling is a clear win for the 13 Yemeni detainees and their lawyers. But a number of the approximately 540 detainees still in Guantanamo still either have no representation or have not yet met with a lawyer. These detainees will all be a prime target for relocation by the Pentagon before they can challenge their detention in courts.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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