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Ahjam v. Obama

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

April 9, 2014

AHMED ADNAN AHJAM, Petitioner,
v.
BARACK OBAMA, et al., Respondents

Decided March 21, 2014

Page 274

For MOHAMMED ABDULLAH TAHA MATTAN, Detainee, Petitioner: Gordon Samuel Woodward, LEAD ATTORNEY, SCHNADER HARRISON SEGAL & LEWIS, LLP, Washington, DC; Lauren Carasik, PRO HAC VICE, WESTERN NEW ENGLAND SCHOOL OF LAW, Springfield, MA; Shayana Devendra Kadidal, CENTER FOR CONSITITUTIONAL RIGHTS, New York, NY.

For MOHAMMED AHMED SLAM AL-KHATEEB, Detainee, Petitioner: Michael E. Ward, LEAD ATTORNEY, Jonathan M. Fee, ALSTON & BIRD LLP, Washington, DC; W. Terence Walsh, LEAD ATTORNEY, ALSTON & BIRD LLP, Atlanta, GA; Shayana Devendra Kadidal, CENTER FOR CONSITITUTIONAL RIGHTS, New York, NY.

For ABDURAHMAN LNU, Petitioner: Carlos Warner, LEAD ATTORNEY, Darin Thompson, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO, Cleveland, OH; David H. Remes, LEAD ATTORNEY, Silver Spring, MD; Andy P. Hart, OHIO OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Toledo, OH; Jillian S. Davis, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO, Capital Habeas Unit, Cleveland, OH; Shayana Devendra Kadidal, CENTER FOR CONSITITUTIONAL RIGHTS, New York, NY.

For NADIR OMAR ABDULLAH BIN SA'ADO ALS'AARY, also known as AHMED OMAR, Petitioner: Edward G. Bryan, LEAD ATTORNEY, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO, Cleveland, OH; Ahmed Ghappour, REPRIEVE, London, UK; Andy P. Hart, OHIO OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Toledo, OH; David Stanley Marshall, Seattle, WA.

For EDRESS LNU, Petitioner: Andy P. Hart, LEAD ATTORNEY, OHIO OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Toledo, OH; Darin Thompson, Jonathan P. Witmer-Rich, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Amy B. Cleary, Carlos Warner, Timothy C. Ivey, Vicki Werneke, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO, Cleveland, OH; Jillian S. Davis, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO, Capital Habeas Unit, Cleveland, OH; Shayana Devendra Kadidal, CENTER FOR CONSITITUTIONAL RIGHTS, New York, NY.

For AHMED ADNAN AHJAM, Detainee, (ISN 326), also known as ABU RAWDA, Petitioner: David Stanley Marshall, LEAD ATTORNEY, Seattle, WA; Shayana Devendra Kadidal, LEAD ATTORNEY, CENTER FOR CONSITITUTIONAL RIGHTS, New York, NY.

For SHARQAWI ABDU ALI-AL HAAG, Petitioner: John A. Chandler, LEAD ATTORNEY, KING & SPALDING LLP, Atlanta, GA; Shayana Devendra Kadidal, LEAD ATTORNEY, CENTER FOR CONSITITUTIONAL RIGHTS, New York, NY; Diana J. Pomeranz, Ilyse B. Stempler, Patricia L. Maher, KING & SPALDING, LLP, Washington, DC; Elizabeth V. Tanis, SUTHERLAND, ASBILL & BRENNAN LLP, Atlanta, GA; Richard G. Murphy , Jr., SUTHERLAND ASBILL & BRENNAN LLP, Washington, DC.

For MIKE BUMGARNER, Army Col. Commander, Joint Detention Operations Group, JTF - GTMO, Respondent: Andrew I. Warden, Nancy Naseem Safavi, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Kathryn Celia Davis, Paul A. Dean, Timothy Allen Bass, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; Blanche L. Bruce, Charlotte A. Abel, LEAD ATTORNEYS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC; Carolyn Gail Mark, Sarah Maloney, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Joseph Charles Folio , III, Julia A. Berman, Kristina Ann Wolfe, Patrick D. Davis, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; James J. Gilligan, Terry Marcus Henry, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Norman Christopher Hardee, Robert J. Prince, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; John P. Lohrer, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Antitrust Division, Washington, DC; John Edward Wallace, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs, Washington, DC; Kristofer Ryan McDonald, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division/Federal Programs, Washington, DC; Michael Thomas Koenig, Rachelle C. Williams, Sean W. O'Donnell , Jr., Stephen McCoy Elliott, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Alexander Kenneth Haas, James J. Schwartz, Scott Douglas Levin, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, DC; Wynne Patrick Kelly, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Dalin Riley Holyoak, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Office of Immigration, Washington, DC; Mary Elizabeth Carney, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, CIV/ Federal Programs, Washington, DC; Nicole Newcomb Murley, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division/Off. of Immig. Litigation, Washington, DC.

For JAY HOOD, Army Brig. Gen. Commander, Joint Task Force - GTMO, Respondent: Andrew I. Warden, Nancy Naseem Safavi, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Kathryn Celia Davis, Paul A. Dean, Timothy Allen Bass, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; Blanche L. Bruce, Charlotte A. Abel, LEAD ATTORNEYS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC; Carolyn Gail Mark, LEAD ATTORNEY, Joseph Charles Folio , III, Julia A. Berman, Kristina Ann Wolfe, Patrick D. Davis, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; James J. Gilligan, Terry Marcus Henry, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Norman Christopher Hardee, Robert J. Prince, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; John P. Lohrer, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Antitrust Division, Washington, DC; John Edward Wallace, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs, Washington, DC; Kristofer Ryan McDonald, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division/Federal Programs, Washington, DC; Michael Thomas Koenig, Rachelle C. Williams, Sean W. O'Donnell , Jr., Stephen McCoy Elliott, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Alexander Kenneth Haas, James J. Schwartz, Scott Douglas Levin, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, DC; Wynne Patrick Kelly, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Dalin Riley Holyoak, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Office of Immigration, Washington, DC; Nicole Newcomb Murley, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division/Off. of Immig. Litigation, Washington, DC.

For DONALD RUMSFELD, Secretary, United States Department of Defense, Respondent: Andrew I. Warden, Nancy Naseem Safavi, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Kathryn Celia Davis, Paul A. Dean, Timothy Allen Bass, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; Blanche L. Bruce, Charlotte A. Abel, LEAD ATTORNEYS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC; Carolyn Gail Mark, Sarah Maloney, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Joseph Charles Folio , III, Julia A. Berman, Kristina Ann Wolfe, Patrick D. Davis, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; James J. Gilligan, Terry Marcus Henry, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Norman Christopher Hardee, Robert J. Prince, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; John Hunter Bennett, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Commercial Litigation Branch, National Courts Section, Washington, DC; John P. Lohrer, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Antitrust Division, Washington, DC; John Edward Wallace, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs, Washington, DC; Kristofer Ryan McDonald, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division/Federal Programs, Washington, DC; Michael Thomas Koenig, Rachelle C. Williams, Sean W. O'Donnell , Jr., Stephen McCoy Elliott, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Alexander Kenneth Haas, James J. Schwartz, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, DC; Wynne Patrick Kelly, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Dalin Riley Holyoak, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Office of Immigration, Washington, DC; Mary Elizabeth Carney, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, CIV/ Federal Programs, Washington, DC; Nicole Newcomb Murley, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division/Off. of Immig. Litigation, Washington, DC.

For BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, II, President, Respondent: Andrew I. Warden, Nancy Naseem Safavi, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Paul A. Dean, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; Charlotte A. Abel, LEAD ATTORNEY, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC; James J. Gilligan, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, CIVIL DIVISION, FEDERAL PROGRAMS BRANCH, Washington, DC; John Hunter Bennett, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Commercial Litigation Branch, National Courts Section, Washington, DC; Kristina Ann Wolfe, LEAD ATTORNEY, Julia A. Berman, Sarah Maloney, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Kristofer Ryan McDonald, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division/Federal Programs, Washington, DC; Michael Thomas Koenig, Rachelle C. Williams, Sean W. O'Donnell , Jr., LEAD ATTORNEYS, Eric J. Soskin, Scott Douglas Levin, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, DC; Olivia R. Hussey Scott, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Tax Division, Civil Trial Section, Central Region, Washington, DC; Wynne Patrick Kelly, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Dalin Riley Holyoak, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Office of Immigration, Washington, DC; Nicole Newcomb Murley, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division/Off. of Immig. Litigation, Washington, DC.

Page 275

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Royce C. Lamberth, United States District Judge.

Petitioner Ahmed Adnan Ahjam,[1] a Syrian national, has been detained as an enemy belligerent at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2002. In 2009, pursuant to an Executive Order, a federal task force identified Mr. Ahjam as a candidate for transfer fro the detention facility and resettlement in a new country. Mr. Ahjam filed the present motion to challenge the 2013 and 2014 National Defense Authorization Acts, which impose prerequisites for transfers of Guantanamo detainees, as unconstitutional interferences by Congress into the President's control of foreign affairs. Upon consideration of the petitioner's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [1748], the government's Opposition thereto [1788], and the petitioner's Reply [1794], the Court DENIES the petitioner's motion.

I. BACKGROUND

Two days after taking office, on January 22, 2009, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13492 establishing the Guantanamo Review Task Force. Exec. Order No. 13492, 74 Fed. Reg. 4897 (Jan. 22, 2009). The Task Force--headed by the Attorney General and including the Secretaries of Defense, State, and Homeland Security, as well as the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff--was charged with undertaking " a prompt and thorough review of the factual and legal bases for the continued detention of all individuals currently held at Guantanamo, and of whether their continued detention is in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and in the interests of justice." Id. at 4898. For each detainee, the Task Force was to determine the propriety ...


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