On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals of cases against the U.S. government filed by seven different detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
By refusing to hear the cases, the decisions of the lower courts are upheld. In one of these rulings, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that information provided by the government should be afforded a “presumption of accuracy” unless the defendant can establish otherwise.
This somewhat strange application of the legal doctrine of the burden of proof was part of the decision in the case of Latif v. Obama.
Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif is a Yemeni national currently imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. In a Summary of Evidence memo prepared by the government, Latif is accused of first, being “an al Qaida fighter"; and second, of having engaged in hostilities against Americans in Afghanistan.
According to the majority opinion issued by the D.C. Court in the Latif case, the lower court failed to apply the presumption of regularity to the evidence presented by the government. The evidence in question was intelligence reports compiled by the government of the United States and its agents.
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Photo: US Supreme Court, Washington DC via Shutterstock