Kiyemba v. Obama

Amicus curiae brief of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, the Constitution Project, People for the American Way Foundation, the Rutherford Institute, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of Petitioners.

Brief filed: 12/11/2009


Kiyemba v. Obama

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 08-1234

Prior Decision

Opinion below Kiyemba v. Obama, 555 F.3d 1022 (D.C. Cir. 2009).

Question Presented

Whether a federal court exercising its habeas jurisdiction, as confirmed by Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. __, 128 S. Ct. 2229 (2008), has no power to order the release of prisoners held by the Executive for seven years in the Guantánamo prison, where the Executive detention is indefinite and without authorization in law, and release in the continental United States is the only possible effective remedy.


The court of appeals’ ruling undermines the “judicial Power” conferred by Article III of the Constitution and the role of an independent judiciary in our constitutional system of separated powers. 

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Sidney S. Rosdeitcher, Association of the Bar of the City of New York; Alex Young K. Oh, Philip G. Barber, and David G. Clunie, Washington, DC; Elizabeth Goitein and Emily Berman, and Aziz Huq, Brennan Center for Justice; Sharon Bradford Franklin, Constitution Project; Margery F. Baker and Deborah Liu, People for the American Way Foundation; John W. Whitehead, Rutherford Institute; Malia N. Brink, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. DC Circuit brief below.