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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 9, 2005 11:30 AM

Just in over the last hour via Breitbart/AP:

A federal appeals court Friday sided with the Bush administration and reversed a judge’s order that the government either charge or free “dirty bomb” suspect Jose Padilla.

The three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the president has the authority to detain a U.S. citizen closely associated with al Qaida.

“The exceedingly important question before us is whether the President of the United States possesses the authority to detain militarily a citizen of this country who is closely associated with al Qaeda, an entity with which the United States is at war,” Judge Michael Luttig wrote. “We conclude that the President does possess such authority.”

A federal judge in South Carolina had ruled in March that the government cannot hold Padilla indefinitely as an “enemy combatant,” a designation President Bush gave him in 2002. The government views Padilla as a militant who planned attacks on the United States.

WaPo/Reuters coverage here. Opinion, written by Michael Luttig, is here.


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