U.S. Supreme Court Order
Hanft v. Padilla
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  • U.S. Attorney General
  • Defense Attorney Andrew Patel
  • Defense Attorney Donna Newman

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  • Padilla’s Indictment
  • Case History
  • Terrorism Coverage
  • The U.S. Supreme Court grants the Solicitor General's application to transfer American terror suspect Jose Padilla from military custody to civilian custody to face federal charges pending in indictment in Florida. The Court is still considering, however, Padilla’s application for certiorari, and said that it will decide whether or not to grant it "in due course."




        Jose Padilla has filed a petition for certiorari, seeking review of the Fourth Circuitís judgment upholding his detention by military authorities. See Padilla v. Hanft, No. 05-533 (filed Oct. 25, 2005). On November 22, 2005, the Government filed a motion before the Fourth Circuit, seeking approval to transfer Padilla from military custody to the custody of the warden of a federal detention center in Florida, to face criminal charges contained in an indictment filed November 17, 2005. See Supreme Court Rule 36.1 (“Pending review in this Court of a decision in a habeas corpus proceeding. . . the person having custody of the prisoner may not transfer custody to another person unless the transfer is authorized under this Rule.”). Padilla agreed that the transfer should be approved. The Fourth Circuit denied the request, citing a concern that transfer might affect this Courtís consideration of the pending petition for certiorari and concluding that the “decision should be made not by this court but, rather, by the Supreme Court of the United States.” Order at 3, Padilla v. Hanft, No. 05-6396 (CA4 Dec. 21, 2005).

        The Solicitor General has now filed with this Court an Application Respecting the Custody and Transfer of Jose Padilla, seeking the same authorization previously sought from the Court of Appeals. Padilla has filed a response, arguing instead that the Court should delay his release from military custody and consider his release along with his petition for certiorari. The Governmentís application presented to the Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is granted. The Court will consider the pending petition for certiorari in due course.


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