Petition For Writ of Certiorari: In the Supreme Court of the United States: Center For National Security Studies, et.al., Petitioners v. United States Department of Justice, Respondent   [open pdf - 1MB]

Petitioners seek review of a divided decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit holding that they have no right under the Freedom of Information Act or the First Amendment to be told the names or other basic information relating to over 700 individuals secretly detained by the federal government in the weeks following the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. The D.C. Circuit abandoned its proper judicial role, and effectively amended the Act by judicial fiat, when it deferred to government rationales for withholding that (1) were highly questionable on their face and (2) were phrased in such general terms that they wholly failed to account for relevant differences among the detainees. This Court should grant certiorari to ensure that even after September 11, the judiciary will continue to fulfill its constitutional and statutory obligation to provide meaningful review of the exercise of executive power. The lower court's ratification of secret arrests has no precedent in this Nation's laws or history and should be reconsidered by this Court.

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