ACLU Responds to Court Ruling Upholding Detention of Jose Padilla

September 9, 2005 12:00 am

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NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union expressed disappointment at today’s ruling upholding the military detention of Jose Padilla, and reversing a trial court decision that had ordered the government either to criminally charge him or to release him.

The following quotes can be attributed to ACLU Legal Director Steven R. Shapiro:

“Contrary to the court’s opinion, there is very little reason to believe that Congress either anticipated or endorsed the military detention of U.S. citizens arrested in the United States when it authorized a military strike against Afghanistan following 9/11.”

“So long as the civilian courts are open and functioning, American citizens arrested in the United States are entitled to due process protections provided by a traditional criminal trial.”

“While we disagree with today’s ruling, it is also important to understand its limitations. It does not authorize the government to designate and detain as an ‘enemy combatant’ anyone who it claims is associated with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups.”

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