The Supreme Court refused today to take up an appeal on whether the federal government legally withheld names and details about hundreds of foreigners detained after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. The Associated Press says that many of the 700 detainees at issue have been deported. Twenty-three news organizations and media groups, including The Associated Press, joined in asking the high court to hear the case.
“It is the responsibility of courts, and especially this court, to provide meaningful judicial review when the government invokes national security to justify unprecedented secrecy in exercising its awesome power to arrest and detain hundreds of people,” lawyers for the Center for National Security Studies argued in a court filing.
The Bush administration opposed high court consideration of the case. Last week, however, the justices overruled the administration and took a case involving the rights of an American citizen captured on an Afghanistan battlefield. The administration maintains it already has authority to hold Yaser Esam Hamdi indefinitely in a military prison.