Here is a link to the recently filed petition in the case of Alaa  Mohammad Ali–if you are a MilJus type and don’t know who he is, crawl out from under your rock and join the rest of us. For those that do not practice MilJus,  here is our coverage of the case and the decision by CAAF upholding court-martial jurisdiction over civilians. 

The Questions Presented are:

1. Whether Congress’s decision not to create federal district court jurisdiction for the trial of a class of civilians supporting military forces overseas provides sufficient constitutional justification for subjecting such civilians to trial by court-martial.

2. Whether a citizen of a foreign country serving as a civilian contractor in support of the United States military’s mission overseas is entitled to Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights in connection with criminal prosecution by the United States.

Disclaimer:  I am one of the counsel for Mr. Ali, along with John O’Connor, LTC Pete Kageleiry, and COL Patricia Ham.

5 Responses to “A Time For Sharing: The Ali Petition for Certiorari”

  1. Sgt Dad says:

    OK, I am just a former SNCO & my law experience has been in civil litigation.  That said, why on earth would a US court answer #2 with anything by “Yes, of course!”

  2. Bill C says:

    So in its effort to court martial this guy (and have him plead guilty) the government has spent how many of my tax dollars?  For a simple assault?

  3. Sgt Dad says:

    A GCM, no less!

  4. Zachary Spilman says:

    No Man… low hanging fruit!

    2. Whether a citizen of a foreign country serving as a civilian contractor in support of the United States military’s mission overseas is entitled to Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights in connection with criminal prosecution by the United States.

    Without reading the brief, the question implies that Ali didn’t get any of the protections of the Fifth and Aixth Amendments in his court-martial. Someone once wrote about this

    However, at the heart of Professor Vladeck’s criticism is his concern that CAAF’s opinion stands for “the proposition that the Fifth and Sixth Amendments categorically do not apply to non-citizens with no voluntary connection to the United States when they have not come within the territory of the United States and developed substantial connections with this country” (third paragraph, emphasis added). This is really the tired old refrain that citizens lose their constitutional rights when they become servicemembers. The protections of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments are routinely invoked at courts-martial, and the UCMJ is deeply rooted in these constitutional guarantees. There’s the protection against double jeopardy (Article 44), against self-incrimination (Article 31), the guarantee of a Speedy Trial (Articles 10 and 33), the right to an impartial jury (Article 41), the right to obtain witnesses and evidence (Article 46), the right to the assistance of counsel (Article 27, for the most part), and plenty of caselaw applying the Due Process Clause (i.e., United States v. Barberi), the right to notice (i.e., United States v. Fosler), and the right to confrontation (i.e., United States v. Blazier). Obviously, merely extending court-martial jurisdiction to civilians under certain circumstances does not “categorically” remove the protections of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

  5. Mike "No Man" Navarre says:

    Great minds think alike.  As I said before, Prof. V. beat me to the . . . post.