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Rumsfeld v. Padilla

Supreme Court of the United States

April 28, 2004, Argued ; June 28, 2004, Decided

No. 03-1027

Opinion

 [*430]  [**2715]   Chief Justice Rehnquist delivered the opinion of the Court.

LEdHN[1A][] [1A] LEdHN[2A][] [2A] LEdHN[3A][] [3A] LEdHN[4A][] [4A] Respondent Jose Padilla is a United States citizen detained by the Department of Defense pursuant to the President's determination that he is an "enemy combatant" who conspired with al Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States. We [****9]  confront two questions: First, did Padilla properly file his habeas petition in the Southern District of New York; and second, did the President possess authority to detain Padilla militarily. We answer the threshold question in the negative and thus do not reach the second question presented.

Because we do not decide the merits, we only briefly recount the relevant facts. On May 8, 2002, Padilla flew from Pakistan to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. As he  [***525]  stepped off the plane, Padilla was apprehended by federal agents executing a material witness warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of  [*431]  New York (Southern District) in connection with its grand jury investigation into the September 11th terrorist attacks. Padilla was then transported to New York, where he was held in federal criminal custody. On May 22, acting through appointed counsel, Padilla moved to vacate the material witness warrant.

Padilla's motion was still pending when, on June 9, the President issued an order to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld designating Padilla an "enemy combatant" and directing the Secretary to detain him in military custody. App. D to Brief for [****10]  Petitioner 5a (June 9 Order). In support of this action, the President invoked his authority as "Commander in Chief of the U. S. armed forces" and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Joint Resolution, Pub. L. 107-40, 115 Stat. 224 (AUMF), 1 enacted by Congress on September 18, 2001. June 9 Order 5a. The President also made several factual findings explaining his decision to designate Padilla an enemy combatant. 2 Based on these findings,  [**2716]  the President concluded that it is "consistent with U. S. law and the laws of war for the Secretary of Defense to detain Mr. Padilla as an enemy combatant." Id., at 6a.

 [****11]  [*432]   That same day, Padilla was taken into custody by Department of Defense officials and transported to the Consolidated Naval Brig in Charleston, South Carolina. 3 He has been held there ever since.

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542 U.S. 426 *; 124 S. Ct. 2711 **; 159 L. Ed. 2d 513 ***; 2004 U.S. LEXIS 4759 ****; 72 U.S.L.W. 4584; 2004 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 466

DONALD H. RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, Petitioner v. JOSE PADILLA and DONNA R. NEWMAN, as next friend of JOSE PADILLA

Subsequent History:  [****1] Related proceeding at Padilla v. Hanft, 389 F. Supp. 2d 678, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2921 (D.S.C., 2005)

Subsequent civil proceeding at Lebron v. Rumsfeld, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16192 (D.S.C., Feb. 17, 2011)

Prior History: ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT.

Padilla v. Rumsfeld, 352 F.3d 695, 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 25616 (2d Cir. N.Y., 2003)

Disposition: Reversed and remanded.

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Criminal Law & Procedure, Habeas Corpus, Procedure, General Overview, Jurisdiction, Custody Requirement, Civil Procedure, In Rem & Personal Jurisdiction, In Personam Actions, Jurisdiction, Order & Timing of Petitions, Filing of Petitions, Relief for Federal Prisoners, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Jurisdiction Over Actions