Appeals panel rules against 'enemy combatant'

January 23, 2012 - 5:35 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals panel has turned away efforts by Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen detained for nearly four years as an "enemy combatant," to reinstate a lawsuit against ex-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other government officials.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled unanimously Monday that Padilla's claims he was unconstitutionally detained and tortured in the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., were without merit. Padilla contended he's entitled to sue because the government deprived him of other ways to seek remedies for his treatment.

The panel affirmed a federal judge's dismissal of Padilla's lawsuit, ruling that Congress, not the courts, has jurisdiction over military detention cases and that Congress hasn't explicitly provided a remedy for civil damages.

Padilla is being held in a federal prison in Colorado.