Op-Ed: Ship U.S. Judges to Hold Guantánamo Detainee Trials

With the U.S. military commissions system for trying terror suspects at “a point of no return,” why not send federal district judges to Guantánamo Bay to resolve the detainee trials that remain?

Bruce Ackerman and Eugene Fidell, who teach at Yale Law School, make that proposal in a New York Times op-ed entitled “Send Judges to Guantánamo, Then Shut It.”

There is historical precedent for creating federal civilian courts in lands under U.S. military control, they argue. They say the remedy they propose is appropriate since Congress has barred bringing Guantánamo detainees to the U.S. mainland for prosecution in federal courts.

Amid a prisoner hunger strike and a potential for suicide attempts, the authors write, “Presidential speeches will not suffice to cut short the series of tragic episodes that loom ahead. Only dramatic action will induce the prisoners, and the larger world, to take seriously America’s determination to end this legal nightmare.” President Obama recently renewed his pledge to close the detention facility (see Gavel Grab).

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