Amidst the endless news cycles focusing on the Democratic National Convention, Hurricane Gustav and now the Republican National Convention, reports that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to reconsider the case of Mr. Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian alleged to be a victim of extraordinary rendition, was understandably lost in the shuffle. On August 13th however, the court announced that it will rehear the case en banc in December, despite originally dismissing it in June.
The New York Times published an editorial on Sunday lauding the court’s decision. While Alliance for Justice and the Times were both troubled by the court’s callous dismissal of Mr. Arar’s case in June, the fact that the full panel agreed to rehear the case -- even before Mr. Arar’s attorneys submitted their request -- is a positive step.
As we wrote in earlier posts, the distressing details of Mr. Arar’s treatment demand justice; attempts by the Bush administration to shut him out of our legal process only serve to demean our system of justice. If our government truly feels it acted appropriately in its “deportation” of Mr. Arar, then it should not have any qualms about defending its actions in court of law.