(CN) – The D.C. Circuit let stand the “enemy combatant” status of three Guantanamo detainees, ruling that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush stripped the federal appeals court of subject-matter jurisdiction.
The case hinged on whether two provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA) were severable. Judge Ginsburg said the court cannot adhere to the provision conferring subject-matter jurisdiction, when the Supreme Court struck down the provision denying prisoners’ right to challenge their detentions.
“If it is evident that Congress would not have enacted one statutory provision had it known that another provision would be held unconstitutional,” Ginsburg wrote, “then the former provision cannot be severed from the latter and the two provisions must fall together.”