al-Bahlul decided: Court invalidates military commission conviction for domestic-law offense

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by a 2-1 vote (Rogers and Tatel, Henderson dissenting) has overturned the conspiracy conviction on Article III grounds.

Steve will be posting much more shortly on the three opinions in the case.  [UPDATE:  Read all about it!]  But for now, this is the most important point:  This decision does not disempower the government at all in terms of its ability to prosecute crimes committed by enemy forces:  Domestic-law offenses can be — and successfully have been — prosecuted in Article III courts, with juries and judges who have tenure and salary protections; whereas violations of the international laws of war, such as those alleged in the 9/11 case, can also be tried in military commissions. 

About the Author(s)

Marty Lederman

Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center Follow him on Twitter (@marty_lederman).