Uncharted Legal Territory

CIVIL LIBERTIES

Jose Padilla's court-appointed lawyer is the first to admit she is in over her head. "I'm no constitutional scholar," says Donna Newman, a defense attorney in private practice. "I need help."

The legal arguments being used against Padilla by the Justice Department are so controversial that Newman will get the help she needs. Experts from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Cato Institute are crying foul over an Administration strategy that puts Padilla at the center of a sobering constitutional question: Can the President label an American citizen an "enemy combatant"--a hostile agent of a foreign foe--order the military to...

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