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"The hand I was holding was the hand of Justice", Neal Katyal

Neal Katyal and his partner Charles Swift took on Guantánamo by representing Osama bin Laden's driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, before the Supreme Court of the United States. If bad facts make bad law, Katyal and Swift's advocacy proved the exception as their client was accused of being a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda. Hamden was a Yemeni national in custody at an American prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He filed petitions for writs of habeas corpus and mandamus to challenge the Executive Branch's intended means of prosecuting a charge of conspiracy to commit offenses triable by military commission. The Supreme Court grappled with whether a Yemeni national, in custody at an American prison, in Cuba could be prosecuted by military commission.


In short, Katyal and Swift won against unprecedented pressure. This TedTalk explains how. Though this post is late to the game, Katyal's insights may provide you with some much needed inspiration. Katyal's TedTalk is simply fascinating.


Katie

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Thanks to Christopher Griffin for the use of his art.