High Court Allows Transfer of Padilla to Civil Custody
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
The US Supreme Court says Jose Padilla can be transferred out of military custody so that he can be prosecuted in criminal court in Florida. But the high court also said it will decide whether to hear Padilla's appeal of his designation as an enemy combatant. Now the Justice Department argued that since Padilla now faces criminal charges, there was no need for the Supreme Court to hear arguments about his enemy combatant status. An appeals court refused to transfer Padilla, saying it seemed the Justice Department was trying to influence the Supreme Court, cause it not to review the president's powers, a review that the administration could plausibly lose. Supreme Court did not say whether it will hear Padilla's appeal, just that it will consider doing so, so the justices could still decide that the enemy combatant issue is moot. Padilla's attorney and the Justice Department both said that they were pleased with the US Supreme Court's order.