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The Supreme Court Rejects Military Tribunals

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the Bush administration's policy of trying terror suspects before military tribunals is illegal, saying it violated U.S. law and the Geneva Convention. Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal discusses the specifics of the decision.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    The Supreme Court rejects the administration's approach to justice at Guantanamo. We begin with the specifics of the decision, and we go to Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal for that.

    Again, Marcia, welcome.

  • MARCIA COYLE, National Law Journal:

    Thanks, Jim.

  • JIM LEHRER:

    This centered on a man named Hamdan. Tell us who he was and what he was doing at Guantanamo.

  • MARCIA COYLE:

    He was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 by local militia forces, turned over to the U.S. military, transferred to Guantanamo Bay. The government contends he was Osama bin Laden's chauffeur or driver in bin Laden's motor pool.

    President Bush designated him an enemy combatant, and he became one of the first — part of the first group of enemy combatants to be told to stand trial by military commission.

  • JIM LEHRER:

    And his lawyers challenged that, and it was that challenge that ended up before the court today, right?

  • MARCIA COYLE:

    That's correct.

  • JIM LEHRER:

    And the decision…

  • MARCIA COYLE:

    All right.

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