From the Washington Post:
A potential showdown between the Supreme Court and the Bush administration over the president's war powers was averted yesterday when the court declined to hear the appeal of a U.S. citizen who was held in military custody for more than three years.
By a 6 to 3 vote, the court granted the administration's request not to review the case of Jose Padilla, an alleged member of al-Qaeda arrested in Chicago in 2002, because the administration last November met Padilla's demand to be indicted in a civilian court and transferred from a Navy brig to a civilian jail.
The decision is a victory for the administration because it leaves intact an appeals court ruling that upheld the president's authority to detain Padilla as an "enemy combatant." But the win was possible only because the administration had already made its tactical retreat in the face of negative public reaction and uncertain prospects at the high court, legal analysts said. Until a definitive Supreme Court ruling, they said, it remains an open question whether President Bush could legally detain a U.S. citizen in the United States as an enemy combatant in the future.
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