Bush-Appointed Judge Say U.S. Citizen Cannot Be Held as "Enemy Combatant," ACLU Welcomes Decision in Padilla Case

February 28, 2005 12:00 am

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Bush-Appointed Judge Say U.S. Citizen Cannot Be Held as “Enemy Combatant,” ACLU Welcomes Decision in Padilla Case

Contact: Media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON — A federal judge today ruled that President Bush does not have the power to hold an American citizen as an enemy combatant. The decision by U.S. District Judge Henry F. Floyd, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Bush in 2003, came in the case of Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen being held in a naval brig in Charleston, S.C.

“Today’s decision by one of President Bush’s own appointees to the bench represents yet another blow to the Administration’s misguided belief that it does not have to follow our constitutional traditions in pursuing terrorists,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director. “As Judge Floyd recognized in his opinion, President Bush’s actions in the Padilla case flout the checks and balances that ensure our democracy and liberty.”

In his decision, Judge Floyd ordered Padilla to be released within 45 days.

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