WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court said on Friday it would decide whether a U.S. citizen seized abroad and branded an "enemy combatant" can be kept in a military jail in this country, a test case for President Bush's war on terror.
The high court said it would hear an appeal by Yaser Esam Hamdi challenging whether U.S. officials have the power to detain him indefinitely in a Navy jail in Charleston, South Carolina, after his capture in Afghanistan in 2001.
Federal Public Defender Frank Dunham said in the appeal the constitutional right of due process under the law prohibits Hamdi's "effectively incommunicado detention" without a hearing and without any charges brought against him.
Human rights groups have denounced the Bush administration for detaining without charge hundreds of prisoners in the war on terror and denying them access to lawyers.
Hamdi's appeal is the second case the high court will review stemming from legal challenges to the war on terror.