This paper analyzes the recent D.C. District Court decision in al Maqaleh v. Gates. The issue in al Maqaleh was whether the Suspension Clause of the U.S. Constitution reaches four detainees held at the Bagram military facility in Afghanistan. The court answers this question by invoking the three factors used in Boumediene v. Bush, splitting them into six factors and systematically applying each one to the alleged facts surrounding the Bagram detainees and their detention facility. In this application, the court relies primarily on a model, comparing on one hand, the facts and facility involved in the post-World War Two case Johnson v. Eisentrager, and on the other, the circumstances involved in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility as examined in Boumediene. The court ultimately concludes that the al Maqaleh detainees were more similar to the detainees in Boumediene and should therefore be subject to the reach of the Suspension Clause. This paper examines the analysis used in al Maqaleh and argues that the balancing test as used in Boumediene is unworkable as applied by the District Court and that the Bagram military facility is substantially different than the facility in Guantanamo Bay.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/tarik_jallad/3/