(CN) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday vacated a 4th Circuit ruling affirming the president’s power to detain people in the United States without trial, but granted the Obama administration’s request to end the case.
In a one-page order, the justices dismissed Ali Selah Kahlah al-Marri’s appeal, but also vacated the ruling he had challenged.
In July 2008, the 4th Circuit voted 5-4 to overturn an order releasing Marri from his five-year detention in a military jail in South Carolina. The Bush administration claimed Marri had ties to al-Qaida and was preparing “for acts of international terrorism.”
The Supreme Court vacated the decision without ruling on the merits, agreeing with the Obama administration that the case was moot.
“The application of the Acting Solicitor General respecting the custody and transfer of petitioner, seeking to release petitioner from military custody and transfer him to the custody of the Attorney General, presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is granted,” the high court wrote. “The judgment is vacated and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with instructions to dismiss the appeal as moot.”
Marri will be transferred to civilian custody as soon as next week.