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


Anonymous said...

Is this a Clinton stunt or do these lawyers really want Americans to know that traitors support Obama?

One habeas lawyer said...

If the US wishes to vindicate the rule of law it must not deny these people a fair opportunity to be heard. The question is not whether America can imprison terrorists; the question is whether America will provide a fair process to determine who is a terrorist and who is innocent. There is a right way to do it and a wrong way. US servicemen and women must be afforded the maximum protection of a strong legal framework guaranteed by respect for the Geneva Conventions and other international standards and by restoring America’s moral authority as the leader of the world in advancing the rule of law.

I also would point out that among the many distinguished lawyers who signed the letter, are two retired Rear Admirals, Adm. Hutson and Adm. Guter, and a former Chief Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Third Circuit who was appointed to the bench by President Nixon.

Alexa Woodward said...

As a second year law student, this makes me ridiculously happy. You habeas lawyers remind law students of the great potential of our future work. After hearing Obama speak in New York last summer, I was struck by his vocal disapproval of the degradation of the Constitution. His commitment to civil rights and human dignity is expansive. I'm glad to see so many fellow New Yorkers on this list! New York for Obama!

Julianne said...

Thank you, Habeas lawyers, for your work, which is so important to the integrity of our Constitution and our country, and to the security of the world. And thank you for supporting Senator Obama. I have been volunteering for his campaign for a long while now, and this endorsement has made me the most proud.
Please don't be discouraged by the occasional ignorant comment: America supports you.

Habeas Corpus Watch said...

Thank you Isaac for this important effort. Hopefully people are starting to realize that all of us are subject to being detained without charges and a day in court if we allow even one of us to be treated this way. Please add my name to your list.

Linda Gehron
Attorney & Counselor
Suite 823
120 east Washington Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

25 Years
NYS Law Guardian &
Onondaga County Assigned Counsel

Linda G. Richard said...

As far as theo, get a load of his blog. Jihad Watch? No need to take him seriously.

I also wish to thank you habeas lawyers. In fact I don't have the words to thank you. I do a blog where I profile the detainees and then add "actions". I do a lot of research on them, and I have yet to find one that even seemed guilty, much less was obviously guilty of terrorism.

The point really isn't whether they are guilty or innocent anyway, the point is we should be affording them the rights of Habeas and the Geneva Convention. Not doing so paints a sad picture - a country that was once proud of it's freedom. No longer. Now our legacy is - "enhanced interrogation techniques", "extraordinary rendition", illegally holding human beings in hellish conditions.

I think the average American doesn't really understand what's gong on in Guantanamo and prisons around the world. It's a tragic situation.

My blog is at if any comment reader wants to visit and take actions. The attorneys are doing a great job already!

Bless you all!

The Old New Englander said...

My partners and I represented a couple of detainees now repatriated to Saudi Arabia. Please add us to your list:

Harvey A Schwartz
Kevin G. Powers
Jonathan J. Margolis
Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz LLP
18 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02018
(617) 742-7010

Ana Yoerg said...

If you are Obama supporters, you might like this video that has just been released this week...

for more information go to


James said...

Greetings to those who are working to sincerely to rectify the legal complications of Guantanamo Bay and whose efforts are towards stopping torture and injustice.

I am pledging my support for Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election having been recently selected as one of the many Obama delegates of my local precinct in Washington State.

Feel free to publicize.


James Yee
Former US Army Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay

Linda G. Richard said...

To James Yee: It's good to see you post here. I read your book, and I've put together a profile on you in the past, and I've wondered how you and your family are doing. I really felt for your wife while you were away.

To all: I don't know if you know what's going on with Abdel Al-Ghazzawi, but he's dying of hepatitis B and tuberculosis in Guantanamo. His attorney has done an emergency petition, and right now his fate is up to Judge Bates.

There is a petition at

I just ask that you all take a moment to sign on. I think it would make a big impact. For more information on his case there is a profile at my fledgling, humble blog


Dan Mosqueda said...

i would encourage all thinking Americans to look at this editorial which does not deal with the legal issues they bring up, but highlights how Obama will not repair the US's reputation on the world stage:

Mark said...

Check out the Libertarians for Obama blog:

janet said...

I just found this link from a Daily Kos diary. I'm late, as usual!

Thanks for this and for your commitment to the principles that set this country aside from all others.

We MUST restore the balance of power this November. It's already going to take years to root out the corruption and degradation of law this administration has seen fit to allow.

Dan Mosqueda said...

Obama was recently awarded "3 Pinnochios" from the Washington Post. Details at:

Obama got "2 Pinnochios" for his exaggeration of McCain saying we'll be in Iraq for 100 years:

99.9% of you lawyers make the rest look bad. This post isn't helping your cause.

Stock/Mutual Fund Advice said...

Politics aside, Dean Donald Guter was dismissed from his position at Duquesne University Law School without reason. He will remain on the faculty.

Politics aside, he has done AMAZING things with the law school in his short time as Dean, and was obviously (given events of the past year) fired for purely personal reasons.

it's a shame.

I Told You So said...

I just read Obama's new "refined" justification for detaining your clients - he played you all like a cheap date.

Linda said...

I have to agree wth I TOLD YOU SO

Joseph Chez said...

I saw Sarah E. H. on National Geographic special regarding Guantanamo detainees. Our nation owes Sarah and other committed individuals our gratitude and respect for their work they are doing in restoring our country's legal standing before the world. Thus, I remain hopeful that the rule of law will prevail. Thank you Sarah and many of your civil rights attorneys who believe in justice for all. For if we deny due process to our perceived enemy, the value of our legal system is in doubt.

I invite you to visit my blog concerning Guantanamo detention camp. You can find it at

I Told You So said...

. . . preventative detention, military comissions . . . you guys could have endorsed Tom Tancredo and gotten this.