D.C. Circuit Panel Rejects Expansion of Rights to Detainees in Afghanistan

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a highly anticipated decision today on the ability of detainees in military prison at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan to use the habeus corpus process to challenge their detention in U.S. courts.  The case is Maqaleh v. Gates.  Judge Sentelle, joined in the opinion by Judges Tatel and Edwards, reversed the District Court decision, and concluded:

For the reasons set forth above, we hold that the jurisdiction of the courts to afford the right to habeas relief and the protection of the suspension Clause does not extend to aliens held in Executive detention in the Bagram detention facility in the Afghan theater of war. We therefore reverse the order of the district court denying the motion for dismissal of the United States and order that the petitions be dismissed or lack of jurisdiction.

The unanimous nature of the ruling was particularly interesting, perhaps even surprising, and makes it less likely that an inevitable effort to seek review in the U.S. Supreme Court will succeed.

Washington Legal Foundation released a Legal Backgrounder today on another D.C. Circuit detainee-related ruling, al-Bihani v. Obama.

Finger on the Pulse: From Our Blogroll and Beyond

  • Palm Beach Gardens firm accused of filing lawsuits just to collect legal fees (Sun Sentinel)
  • How can Congress balance privacy & law enforcement when updating the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act? (TAP Blog)
  • Prof. Kenneth Anderson on Predator drones’ use in war on terror (Volokh)
  • Brookings’ Ben Wittes on government’s lack of legal latitude dealing with captured terrorists (Washington Post)
  • Former Minnesota Gov. Carlson warns of innovation drain with FDA changes to medical device approvals (Star Tribune)
  • Is the waiting over for major Supreme Court rulings?  SCOTUSblog says maybe (SCOTUS Blog)
  • FDA overregulation of another new and promising technology might be coming (FDA Law Blog)
  • Professors Josh Wright and Henry Butler critique state consumer protection laws (Truth On The Market)

FDA and “Biosimilars”: Expert Panel Assesses the Bumpy Road Forward

Of the more than 2,000 pages which make up the “Affordable Care Act of 2010”, a scant 46 address the multi-billion dollar issue of bringing “generic” versions of biotech drugs to market, and only 24 of them are devoted to how the Food & Drug Administration is supposed to do that.  Those 24 pages grant the FDA a great deal of discretion in how to create a new approval pathway for biosimilars, including leaving to agency personnel the task of defining when a branded biologic and its generic are “highly similar” enough to permit release of the generic.

These are just a few of the many things we learned yesterday from the panelists in WLF’s media briefing program, “An Approval Pathway for ‘Biosimilars’: What’s Next for FDA on Health Care Law Implementation?”  The full video of the program is available in WLF’s video archive. 

Our moderator, Michael McCaughan, editor of the RPM Report and the In Vivo blog, offered insightful prefatory comments and introduced the other panelists, Kathleen M. Sanzo of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Robert A. Dormer of Hyman, Phelps & McNamara P.C.  Kathy provided a PowerPoint handout, which can be downloaded here.

 Mike offered this assessment of the program at In Vivo.