Lebron v. Rumsfeld, No. 11-6480

Decided: January 23, 2012

Plaintiffs Jose Padilla, incarcerated due to a conviction for federal crimes of terrorism, and his mother, Estela Lebron, sued for legal and equitable relief based on Padilla’s prior military detention as an “enemy combatant.” Padilla claimed that as a U.S. citizen captured in the United States, he was unconstitutionally designated as an enemy combatant. Padilla alleged a range of constitutional violations stemming from his military detention, including denial of his right to counsel under the First, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments; denial of access to courts protected by Article III, the First and Fifth Amendments, and the Habeas Corpus Suspension Clause; unconstitutionally cruel conditions of confinement in violation of the Fifth and Eighth Amendments; coercive interrogations in violation of the Fifth and Eighth Amendments; denial of his freedom of religion under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act; denial of access to information protected by the First Amendment; denial of freedom of association under the First Amendment; and general denial of due process protected by the Fifth Amendment. Padilla sought a declaration that defendants’ policies were unconstitutional, an order enjoining his future designation as an enemy combatant, and nominal damages. The district court dismissed, and Padilla appealed. The Fourth Circuit affirmed, finding generally that Padilla’s claims were without merit.

Full Opinion

-Sara I. Salehi

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