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The Senate Judiciary Committee goes into overdrive July 11 with a morning hearing on the Supreme Court’s Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision and a second look that afternoon at William Haynes II, the Pentagon’s general counsel and nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Haynes already passed through the fragmented committee in 2004 on a party-line vote, but his nomination was never voted on by the full Senate. Since then, his tenure has been wracked by controversies over detainee treatment and torture, not to mention the military commissions the Supreme Court invalidated in June. The same day the Court issued the Hamdan ruling, Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) announced hearings on the matter with a lineup that includes the Justice Department’s acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel, Steven Bradbury; Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, who was co-counsel in the Hamdan case; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Theodore Olson; and Scott Silliman, a retired Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps officer and Duke University law professor. Expect hearings this week from the Senate Armed Services Committee, too. Says Silliman: “What I’m going to say Tuesday is that they shouldn’t worry about new legislation, that Congress ought to work with the president to adopt exactly what the Supreme Court said he should: to go with the courts-martial system. It’s proven and fair, and you can crank it up anywhere in the world.”
T.R. Goldman can be contacted at [email protected].

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