Richmond’s Fourth Circuit is stage for next “lawfare” battle against military and national security officials

David Rivkin to present oral arguments for Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Gates, other Secretaries of Defense

Published on 25 October 2011

by Staff


OfficialWire PR News Bureau

Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen, former gang member, and designated enemy combatant who was sentenced to 17 years in prison, is mounting an aggressive appeal. The oral arguments on October 26 in Richmond’s Fourth Circuit will strike at the heart of the Constitution.

Padilla brought a lawsuit against former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld and other high-ranking officials, alleging he was illegally detained and tortured in the military brig after his 2002 arrest. That suit, which has been described as “lawfare” or exacting personal and financial “flesh” from an opponent, was dismissed last February by a federal judge in Charleston, South Carolina, who ruled Padilla had no right to sue for constitutional violations.

Now Padilla’s appeal, Estela Lebron, for herself and as Mother and Next Friend of Jose Padilla vs. Donald Rumsfeld et al, will be heard in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to the issue of “lawfare,” this appeal will seek to decide several questions related to legal rights of “enemy combatants”:

  • Whether U.S. officials are entitled to “qualified immunity” against claims that they unconstitutionally and unlawfully seized, detained, abused, and tortured a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.
  • Whether “special factors” preclude a Bivens remedy (a Bivens claim involves whether an individual alleging a Fourth Amendment violation, such as unreasonable search and seizure, can sue the offenders under the Constitution) for the unconstitutional seizure, detention, abuse, and torture of a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil.
  • Whether the district court erred in holding that Plaintiffs lack standing to contest Jose Padilla’s ongoing designation as an “enemy combatant.”

The case is scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 26 in the Red Room (Room 412) of the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. United States Courthouse in Richmond, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and the media is invited to attend.

Former White House lawyer, David B. Rivkin, Jr., the attorney famous for crafting the successful constitutional challenge to ObamaCare, as well as other attorneys from the law firm Baker Hostetler, will be in Richmond representing Mr. Rumsfeld and is available after the hearing for interviews.

The Hardwicke Group
Jason Yu
Tel: 8883647771
Website / Twitter



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