On May 7, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit blocked the transfer to an unidentified third country of a dual U.S.-Saudi national detained in Iraq as an alleged enemy combatant. The decision, Doe v. Mattis, also upheld a district court order requiring the government to provide seventy-two hours’ notice before transferring him to another country. In an opinion authored by Judge Srinivasan and joined by Judge Wilkins, the court emphasized that while it was “respectful of—and with appreciation for—the considerable deference owed to the Executive's judgments in the prosecution of a war,” “things are different” for alleged enemy combatants who are U.S. citizens. Further proceedings in the district court could potentially address whether the U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is lawful under U.S. domestic law.
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