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Bush Administration Loses Gitmo Appeal

WASHINGTON (CN) - In a setback for the Bush administration, a divided D.C. Circuit refused to rehear a July ruling that expanded its authority to review evidence against Guantanamo Bay detainees. The judges voted 5-5 to keep in place its ruling that judges must review "all reasonably available evidence" used to justify a detainee's enemy-combatant status.

The administration claimed the ruling jeopardized national security, even though the three-judge panel had allowed the Pentagon to withhold "highly sensitive information from detainees' lawyers and to screen the mail that attorneys send to detainees for material that might incite riots, hunger strikes, suicide or "unrest."

Judge Randolph dissented, saying the panel's ruling "is contrary to the rule and statute governing the contents of the record in cases such as these, it violates the restrictions on our jurisdiction in the Detainee Treatment Act."

In response, Judge Ginsburg explained why the full court would not rehear the case, saying Randolph's "suggestion that the panel decision was not only erroneous but also dangerous should not go unremarked."

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