TheUnited States Supreme Court reversed course yesterday and agreed to hear claims of Guantánamo detainees that they had a right to challenge their detention in American courts.
The decision, announced in a brief order released yesterday morning, set the stage for a legal battle that could shape debates in the Bush administration about how to close the detention center, which has become a lightning rod for international criticism.
The order, which required votes from five of the nine justices, superceded an April order in which the justices declined to review a federal appeals court decision that ruled against the detainees.
The court offered no explanation. But the order meant that the justices will hear the full appeal in their next term, perhaps by December.
The court rarely grants such motions for reconsideration. Some experts on Supreme Court procedure said they knew of no similar reversal by the court in decades.
After two Supreme Court decisions since 2004 that have been sweeping setbacks