The Bush Administration, protesting that the Fourth Circuit Court has engaged in an "unprecedented and unfounded assertion of judicial authority," on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to order the prompt transfer of terrorism suspect Jose Padilla out of military custody and into a regular federal prison. The new filing, escalating the inter-branch constitutional conflict that has now arisen over Padilla, complained that the lower court had made "an unwarranted attack on the exercise of Executive discretion," raising "profound separation-of-powers concerns" if not remedied swiftly. "The Fourth Circuit's order defies both law and logic," the new filing contended. Without waiting to see how the Justices would react to the rapid change of circumstances recently in Padilla's case, Solicitor General Paul D. Clement filed an application to shift Padilla to the Federal Detention Facility in Miami, so that he can face new criminal charges claiming he aided terrorism abroad. The Fourth Circuit last week refused to allow that transfer, saying the government may be trying to undercut Padilla's pending appeal to the Supreme Court. But the Circuit Court also said it would be up to the Supreme Court to decide Padilla's placement, and thus Clement turned to the Justices seeking what the lower court had denied.
Before this latest move, the Herald's Jay Weaver had this coverage of all the latest wrangling. And TalkLeft opines that Padilla's lawyers slap Bush Administration. The Daily Business Review (Julie Kay) had a piece about Padilla's and Hassoun's co-defendant, Kifah Jayyousi, but there is no public link available to review the article. Finally Brian Tannebaum has this to say about criminal defense lawyers in these sorts of cases.
The Southern District of Florida finds itself in the middle of this historic fight between the branches of government.