Monday, January 28, 2008



January 28, 2008

Dear Friends:

We are at a critical point in the Presidential campaign, and as lawyers who have been deeply involved in the Guantanamo litigation to preserve the important right to habeas corpus, we are writing to urge you to support Senator Obama.

The Administration's Guantanamo policies have undercut our values at home and stained our reputation around the world. All of us are lawyers who have worked on the Guantanamo habeas corpus litigation for many years, some of us since early 2002, and we were all deeply involved in opposing the Administration’s attempt to overturn the Supreme Court's Rasul decision by stripping the courts of jurisdiction to hear the Guantanamo cases. We have talked with Senator Obama about why the Guantanamo litigation is so significant, and we have worked closely with Senator Obama in the fight to preserve habeas corpus.

Some politicians are all talk and no action. But we know from first-hand experience that Senator Obama has demonstrated extraordinary leadership on this critical and controversial issue. When others stood back, Senator Obama helped lead the fight in the Senate against the Administration's efforts in the Fall of 2006 to strip the courts of jurisdiction, and when we were walking the halls of the Capitol trying to win over enough Senators to beat back the Administration's bill, Senator Obama made his key staffers and even his offices available to help us. Senator Obama worked with us to count the votes, and he personally lobbied colleagues who worried about the political ramifications of voting to preserve habeas corpus for the men held at Guantanamo. He has understood that our strength as a nation stems from our commitment to our core values, and that we are strong enough to protect both our security and those values. Senator Obama demonstrated real leadership then and since, continuing to raise Guantanamo and habeas corpus in his speeches and in the debates.

The writ of habeas corpus dates to the Magna Carta, and was enshrined by the Founders in our Constitution. The Administration's attack on habeas corpus rights is dangerous and wrong. America needs a President who will not triangulate this issue. We need a President who will restore the rule of law, demonstrate our commitment to human rights, and repair our reputation in the world community. Based on our work with him, we are convinced that Senator Obama can do this because he truly feels these issues "in his bones."

We urge you to support Senator Obama.

We encourage you to forward this message to anyone who might be interested.

Gary A. Isaac (Chicago, Illinois)
Elizabeth P. Gilson (New Haven, Connecticut)
Joshua Colangelo Bryan (New York, New York)
Thomas B. Wilner (Washington, DC)
Muneer I. Ahmad (Washington, DC)
Ismail Alsheik (Chicago, Illinois)
Diane Marie Amann (Berkeley, California)
Elizabeth Arora (Washington, DC)
Baher Azmy (Brooklyn, New York)
Scott Barker (Denver, Colorado)
Douglas Behr (Potomac, Maryland)
G. Michael Bellinger (Glen Ridge, New Jersey)
Amanda Shafer Berman (Washington, DC)
Joseph S. Berman (Boston, Massachusetts)
Catherine A. Bernard (Chicago, Illinois)
Carolyn Patty Blum (New York, New York)
Patricia A. Bronte (Chicago, Illinois)
Carol Elder Bruce (McLean, Virginia)
Bryan K. Bullock (Gary, Indiana)
Edmund Burke (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Charles H. Carpenter (Washington, DC)
Douglass Cassel (South Bend, Indiana)
Erwin Chemerinsky (Durham, North Carolina)
Jennifer Ching (Brooklyn, New York)
George M. Clarke (Washington, DC)
Jerry Cohen (Boston, Massachusetts)
John J. Connolly (Baltimore, Maryland)
David J. Cynamon (Chevy Chase, Maryland)
Joshua W. Denbeaux (Westwood, New Jersey)
Mark P. Denbeaux (Newark, New Jersey)
Matthew R. Devine (Chicago, Illinois)
Rebecca Dick (Arlington, Virginia)
Wells Dixon (New York, New York)
Heather Lewis Donnell (Chicago, Illinois)
James Dorsey (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Robert Dunham (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Buz Eisenberg (Ashfield, Massachusetts)
Marc Falkoff (Chicago, Illinois)
Tina Monshipour Foster (Queens, New York)
Murray Fogler (Houston, Texas)
Eric M. Freedman (New York, New York)
Matthew Freimuth (New York, New York)
Hon. John J. Gibbons (Newark, New Jersey)
Jared Goldstein (Providence, Rhode Island)
William Goodman (Detroit, Michigan)
R. David Gratz (Westwood, New Jersey)
Eldon Greenberg (Washington, DC)
Dicky Grigg (Austin, Texas)
Dean Donald J. Guter, Rear Admiral, JAGC, USN (Ret.)
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Gitanjali Gutierrez (Ithaca, New York)
Jonathan Hafetz (Brooklyn, New York)
Osman A. Handoo (Falls Church, Virginia)
Sarah Havens (New York, New York)
Gaillard T. Hunt (Silver Spring, Maryland)
Kristine Huskey (Austin, Texas)
Varda Hussain (Arlington, Virginia)
Dean John D. Hutson, Rear Admiral, JAGC, USN (Ret.)
(Concord, New Hampshire)
Thomas R. Johnson (Portland, Oregon)
Rick Kammen (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Stephen J. Kane (Chicago, Illinois)
Zachary Katznelson (San Francisco, California)
Samuel Kauffman (Portland, Oregon)
Michael Y. Kieval (Bethesda, Maryland)
Daniel Kirschner (New York, New York)
Jan Kitchel (Portland, Oregon)
Brian C. Lewis (Chicago, Illinois)
Eric Lewis (Bethesda, Maryland)
Ellen Lubell (Newton, Massachusetts)
Lawrence S. Lustberg (Newark, New Jersey)
J. Triplett Mackintosh (Denver, Colorado)
Emi MacLean (New York, New York)
Brian D. Maddox (Brooklyn, New York)
Jonathan J. Margolis (Boston, Massachusetts)
Peter S. Margulies (Barrington, Rhode Island)
David S. Marshall (Seattle, Washington)
David L. McColgin (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Neil McGaraghan (Boston, Massachusetts)
Brent Mickum (Bethesda, Maryland)
Nicole M. Moen (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Christopher Moore (New York, New York)
Daniel P. Moylan (Baltimore, Maryland)
Richard G. Murphy, Jr. (Washington, DC)
William J. Murphy (Baltimore, Maryland)
David E. Nachman (Brooklyn, New York)
Silvana Naguib (Chicago, Illinois)
Brian J. Neff (South Orange, New Jersey)
William C. Newman (Northhampton, Massachusetts)
Shawn Nolan (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Matthew J. O'Hara (Chicago, Illinois)
Stephen H. Oleskey (Boston, Massachusetts)
Jordan J. Paust (Houston, Texas)
Charles H.R. Peters (Chicago, Illinois)
Kit A. Pierson (Washington, DC)
Jason Pinney (Boston, Massachusetts)
Wesley R. Powell (New York, New York)
Kevin G. Powers (Boston, Massachusetts)
Robert D. Rachlin (Burlington, Vermont)
Jana Ramsey (Brooklyn, New York)
Michael S. Rapkin (Los Angeles, California)
Michael Ratner (New York, New York)
David H. Remes (Silver Spring, Maryland)
David Richman (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Jeffrey D. Robinson (Laurel, Maryland)
Brent Rushforth (Washington, DC)
Peter M. Ryan (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Lowell E. Sachnoff (Chicago, Illinois)
Glenn M. Salvo (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
James C. Schroeder (Chicago, Illinois)
Harvey A. Schwartz (Boston, Massachusetts)
Andrew J. Schaefer (Chicago, Illinois)
Deming Sherman (Providence, Rhode Island)
Jessica Sherman (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
David Sleigh (St. Johnsbury, Vermont)
Marjorie M. Smith (Piermont, New York)
R. Michael Smith (Baltimore, Maryland)
Kent Spriggs (Tallahassee, Florida)
Michael J. Sternhell (Brooklyn, New York)
Jeffrey M. Strauss (Chicago, Illinois)
Mark Sullivan (Bedford Hills, New York)
Joseph A. Sullivan (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Patricia A. Sullivan (Providence, Rhode Island)
Brett G. Sweitzer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Doris Tennant (Newton, Massachusetts)
Danielle R. Voorhees (Denver, Colorado)
Vincent Warren (New York, New York)
Carolyn Welshhans (Arlington, Virginia)
P. Sabin Willett (Boston, Massachusetts)
Jill M. Williamson (Takoma Park, Maryland)
Elizabeth A. Wilson (Washington, DC)
Jeff Wu (Rockville, Maryland)

GARY A. ISAAC at (312) 701-7025