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Padilla v. Rumsfeld

Last Update: December 11, 2012

What's at Stake

Jose Padilla was seized from a U.S. jail in 2002, declared an "enemy combatant" and secretly transported to a military brig in South Carolina. He was imprisoned for nearly four years, the first two of which he was prevented from communicating with his lawyers or family, and subjected to extreme abuse

In February 2007, Jose Padilla filed a civil suit against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and others for their role in Padilla’s unlawful detention and abuse. In August 2008, the government filed a motion to dismiss the case, and in 2011, the ACLU joined the case as co-counsel for Padilla alongside Hope Metcalf, Tahlia Townsend, and Jonathan Freiman of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic of Yale Law School.

In February 2011, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina dismissed Padilla's lawsuit. In January 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the dismissal. In April 2012, the ACLU asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the lawsuit, and in June the court declined to do so.

You can view the court filings here.

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