Appeals Court Divided In Enemy Combatant Ruling A federal appeals court says the only man being held as an enemy combatant on U.S. soil can challenge his detention. But the court couldn't be more divided. It ruled 5-4 that the president can hold an enemy combatant forever — and, by a different 5-4 margin, that the president hasn't proven Ali al-Marri to be an enemy combatant.
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Appeals Court Divided In Enemy Combatant Ruling

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Appeals Court Divided In Enemy Combatant Ruling

Law

Appeals Court Divided In Enemy Combatant Ruling

Appeals Court Divided In Enemy Combatant Ruling

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/92578038/92578147" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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A federal appeals court says the only man being held as an enemy combatant on U.S. soil has the right to challenge his detention. But the court couldn't be more divided.

Nine judges issued seven opinions — more than 200 pages of disagreement over whether the president can hold an enemy combatant indefinitely without charge.

There were two main questions before the court. First, can the president hold an enemy combatant forever? By five to four, the court said yes.

And second, has the president proven that Ali al-Marri is an enemy combatant? By a different 5-4 combination of judges, the court said no.

The Justice Department saw the ruling as a win, but al-Marri's lawyer was disappointed.