US SUPREME COURT DENIES CERT IN PADILLA APPEAL

Today, April 3, the Supreme Court of the United States declines to review the Fourth Circuit’s recent ruling in Padilla v. Hanft, involving a challenge by a United States citizen to his detention by the government on suspicion of complicity in terrorist attacks against the nation.  Here is a link to a discussion of the case, and its import, at SCOTUSblog.  The Fourth Circuit had issued two opinions in the case, the original in September, deciding the case, and a later one in December, rejecting the government’s motion to withdraw the September opinion.

Three justices (Breyer, Ginsburg, and Souter) voted to grant certiorari; it takes four votes to trigger the high Court’s review.  The court releases two opinions addressing the merits of the petition; one authored by Justice Kennedy, explaining the majority’s basis for denying certiorari, and another by Justice Ginsberg, carrying the flag for granting review.