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A judge ruled Thursday the federal government has no right to decide which Guantanamo Bay detainees have access to lawyers and which don’t.Chief U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled Guantanamo Bay detainees must have access to their lawyers, rejecting the Justice Department’s new rules restricting access to counsel for detainees with no pending appeals, The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reported Thursday.
But, according to Lamberth, the Justice Department didn’t have the authority to create this kind of a system.
“If the separation-of-powers means anything, it is that this country is not one ruled by Executive fiat,” Lamberth wrote in his ruling. “Such blanket, unreviewable power over counsel-access by the Executive does not comport with our constitutional system of government.”
When contacted by Law Blog, the Justice Department said it had no comment at this time.
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