Atest book remotely related to Supreme Court litigation looking at you Jeffrey Toobin and it will be immediately apparent that Neal Katyal was the source of most of the material For this book I m tempted to say that Katyal was the source of almost all of the materialThat being said it s a great read about one of the most important Supreme Court cases of the first decade of the War on Terror When people look back and hopefully wonder why the United States government held bin Laden s driver in Guantanamo for years without trial and only gave him a very circumscribed trial when the Supreme Court demanded it this book will be the perfect resource to point to and show that there were those who fought this attempt and won An important bookSetting up the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay will be regarded in time I think as one of GW Bush s greatest mistakes during his presidency along with the creation of the DHS and the 2008 Wall Street bailouts One can accept the idea of a need to find a place to put the really bad men we ve discovered in our so called War on Terror But this books illuminates the corrosion of our foundational American ideals of justice that have resulted from its administrationMy mind frankly starts swimming dizzily when I begin to contemplate all the direct and collateral issues that become involved with the way we ve handled the aftermath of September 11 2001 The terror attacks were and remain one of the greatest tests of American resolve perhaps to ever confront our nation The Guantanamo Bay detentions are one factor in the 911 aftermath which is changing the nature of what it is to be an American They at the very least are making us schizophrenic as we strive to live our everyday existence under some notion of American ideals Meanwhile we have this placewhere the justice we stand for as Americans and which we say we d like to bring to the whole world does not apply Gitmo is a place where the rule of men seems superior to the rule of law If that s true then its a giant step backward to the inferior place of freedom and justice were most of the world tends to exist and a rebuke of the optimism for something better which our founders had when they crafted the ConstitutionThis is just my chief reaction after finishing the book Perhaps later I may rewrite this into a true book review For now there is something that anyone choosing to read this book should follow it up withTwo of the Perkins Coie attorneys who assisted Charlie Swift in the case went on to become the principal counsel for Hamdan in the ensuing Military Commission trial that took place after the case documented in this book The story of that trial and an epilogue after Hamdan was finally released from Gitmo to return to his family in Yemen is part of a moving three hour presentation given by those attorneys at a place called The Temple of Justice in Washington stateSearch for Hamdan over at tvworg or try following this link My ind of book the legal twists and turns of a momentous case the political forces Are All Guys Assholes?: More Than 1,000 Guys in 10 Cities Reveal Why They're Not, Why They Sometimes Act Like They Are, and How Understanding Their ... Will Solve Your Guy Drama Once and For All knocking things off track and on again and the personal backgrounds and foibles of the folks involved both voluntarily and involuntarily This is theind of book I would have really enjoyed before I went to law school it s a fascinating look behind the scenes of one of the first big cases resulting from the military commissions set up for enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay Mahler does a solid job of explaining the obscure legal concepts that come up in a way that I think is accessible to non lawyers although it s harder and harder for me to tell egad and also spends plenty of time on the personal narratives of Salim Hamdan the detainee Charlie Swift his JAG assigned attorney and Neal Katyal a Georgetown professor now deputy solicitor general who volunteers to wade into the cas. Tration over their legality In the spring of 2006 Katyal who had almost no trial experience took the case to the Supreme Court and won The landmark ruling has been called the Court's most important decision ever on presidential power and the rule of lawWritten with the cooperation of Swift and Katyal The Challenge follows the braided stories of Swift's intense precarious relationship with Hamdan and the unprecedented legal case itself Combining rich character portraits and courtroom drama reminiscent of Jonathan Harr's A Civil Action with sophisticated yet accessible legal analysis The Challenge is a riveting narrative that illuminates some of the most pressing constitutional uestions of the post 911
Point of view The government s side is simply not there I feel awkward about that It s not a hagiography Katyal comes off as cold Swift as erratic I wanted him to be perfect Darn humanity But that said it made me feel good to be a lawyer and to share a law school and friends with Charlie Swift I loved that Katyal engineered a public relations blitz that may have tipped the court into taking the case I adore that Katyal saw V for Vendatta right before making the argument That s one fraught film to insert into this story the heroic story of a terrorist who tortures his only friend and What a Lass Wants kills himself bringing down a fascist government One of the most gripping moments is the British Army deciding not to shoot British citizens Katyal singing the theme from Mister Rogers Neighborhood in the Supreme Court s lawyer s lounge bathroom Huh Also fraught FOX news called that show out as evil recently Teaching socialist values or something During the Supreme Court argument Justice Stevens asked point blank if Congress had suspended habeas corpus or not I think both the government s attorney said It can t be both Justice Stevens snapped back 273 That s wonderful At the CLE today Harry and Joe put up a transcript of Justice Souter asking if Congress could repeal habeas by implication My head It shakes A good book Absolutely worth the time As was the CLE today TVW recorded it Everyone should watch it Once it s available I couldn t find it tonight Though I did find a great video of people Inow dressed in period costume acting out a 19th century case on women s right to sit on juries At this Souter s face reddened in anger Normally the least confrontational of the justices a man with the placid demeanor of a small town librarian he rocked forward abruptly and cut Clement off Numerous Court watchers later remarked that they had never seen him so exercised Now wait a minute Souter sputtered in disbelief The writ is the writ There are no two writs of habeas corpus one for some cases and one for others It s been awhile since I felt strongly enough about a book to recommend it on Goodreads but this one definitely makes the cut Think the title sounds deadly Think again It is a page turner as compelling as any mystery even though we already now now how the story plays out It is exhaustively researched cleanly and gracefully written and the characters are sympathetically portrayed even at their most unlikeable moments Best of all this book revives our hopes for the survival of the rights of all people to basic freedoms and humane treatment under the Constitution at a time when this is by no means a sure thing It also makes accessible to the lay reader some of the historical foundations of Constitutional and military law and the arcana of the workings of the Supreme Court no small achievement It would make a terrific movie in the tradition of All the President s Men if only because that would bring this important American narrative to a wider audience than the book will probably have Let s see George Clooney as the intense law prof Katyal Leo diCaprio as the flamboyant idealistic but uneven JAG Swift A strikingly relevant book about the extent and limitations of presidential power in light of recent events The author paints a picture of the incredible amount of hard work dedication creativity attention to detail and luck it takes to navigate a case through the American legal system to the Supreme Court Mahler strikes a good balance between the nuanced and sometimes very important minutia of an intricate legal case and the broad national and international impacts the decision of one person can have It s definitely worth the read for those with interest in Constitutional lawinterpretation and to appreciate the continual tightrope balancing act between the branches of power Pick up the N in November 2001 and his subseuent transfer to Guantanamo Bay It was there that Hamdan was designated by President Bush to be tried before a special military tribunal and assigned a military lawyer to represent him a thirty five year old graduate student of the Naval Academy Lieutenant Commander Charles SwiftNo one expected Swift to mount much of a defense Not only were the rules of the tribunals America's first in than fifty years stacked against him his superiors at the Pentagon were pressuring him to persuade Hamdan to plead guilty But Swift didn't believe that the tribunals were either legal or fair so he enlisted a young Georgetown law professor named Neal Katyal to help him sue the Bush adminis.
A fast paced engaging read Mahler artfully weaves this true life David vs Goliath tale to eep you turning the pages A must read for any lawyer or anyone interested in American history Prof Katyal the book s protagonist was actually my law professor at Georgetownbefore Hamdan or the War on Terror I can attest to the fact that he is as nice as he is brilliant A first rate human being A great read well listen as I used the audiobook format and it did a great job of Mexican Hooker keeping me awake for two 5 hour drivesTells the story of Hamdan bin Laden s driver and the lawyers who tried and are still trying to get him a modicum of justice in the post 9 11 world Very engaging and well written Little of this is really about Hamdan most of it is about us how valiant champions of justice gave up significant portions of their lives and their careers for the principle that our form of justice is available to even the worst of the worst The author does an excellent job of profiling theey lawyers fighting against the ludicrous military commissions and their unlikely and ultimately victorious suit against GWB s claim of extraordinary executive power Wow it is a great story well toldYes I am a Supreme Court junkie and yes I am not a fan of GWB and his gang I think folks of most political pursuasions would find this book engaging and interesting Mahler sets out not only to recount a wonderful legal thriller but also to exemplify just how far reaching and undemocratic the Bush Administration sought to be in their tyrannical War on Terror Depicting a challenge of the military tribunal approach for Guantanamo captives wh Today I went to a CLE put on by the Washington Courts Historical Society in the courtroom of the Temple of Justice The first afternoon speaker was Captain David C Iglesias who is currently prosecuting terrorism suspects in front of military commissions in Guantanamo and may or may not be the inspiration for Tom Cruise s character on A Few Good Men was fired from his job as US Attorney by the Bush Administration probably because he refused to do politically motivated prosecutions The second was Admiral Bruce MacDonald who is currently tasked with deciding whether al Nashiri among others will be prosecuted in Guantanamo He had me at his condemnation of the first few Military Commission Orders Statements taken under torture were allowed to be used Shameful Shameful Finally Harry Schneider and Joseph McMillan major players in this book Harry let the volunteer coordinator at Perkins Coie The League for the Suppression of Celery know he was ready for a case This case was offered I said exactly what any of you would say when asked if we would sue the President of the United States and the Secretary of the Defense Department on behalf of bin Laden s driver I have to run a conflicts check Anyhoo I read this book several years ago before I was posting reviews to Goodreads But now that Inow that George Clooney has bought the rights and MATT DAMON is attached to play JAG attorney Charlie Swift WHO I HAVE MET SEVERAL TIMES AND WAS STUDY BUDDIES WITH SOMEONE I ADORE I dug it upThis book was a delight on a lot of levels The case feels good feels like the vindication of the rule of law over power And the general rule that congress can t accidentally suspend habeas It takes a hard look at that case as it developed From the assignment of Swift to represented Hamdan Harry Schneider said It was a good day for Hamdan and a good day for the United States when Charlie Swift was appointed to Neil Katyal s decision to volunteer to help to the decision to get it started in front of Judge Lasnik to the Perkins Coie lawyers who made that happen to the transfer to the new trial judge s outrage that Hamdan could be excluded from his own trial to their loss at the DC circuit to their ultimate moderated victory great stuff Definitely has An inspiring legal thriller set against the backdrop of the war on terror The Challenge tells the inside story of a historic Supreme Court showdown At its center are a Navy JAG and a young constitutional law professor who in the aftermath of 911 find themselves defending their nation in the unlikeliest of ways by suing the president of the United States on behalf of an accused terrorist in order to prevent the American government from breaking the law and violating the ConstitutionJonathan Mahler traces the journey of their client Salim Ahmed Hamdan from the Yemeni mosue where he was first recruited for jihad in 1998 through his years working as a driver for Osama bin Laden to his capture in Afghanista.