I had the privilege of seeing Judge Richard Leon at work. I testified in his court as an expert witness in the habeas corpus hearing of a young man who had been held at Gitmo for nearly ten years. this fellow had argued with his father in the UAE and then fled to Pakistan to escape the father's wrath. The Pakistanis trucked him and some others to the Khyber Pass where they were abandoned in winter without warm clothing, money or travel documents. The Taliban government of Afghanistan turned this 19 year old over to AQ who told him that he was going to be a jihadi warrior. He declined the "honor" and said he wanted to go home to see his mother. As a result the Taliban government of Afghanistan decided that he was an American spy and sentenced him to prison at Kandahar. He was there for two years until liberated by US forces. He stayed on at the prison as a hired janitor until a sergeant at Kandahar air base somehow decided that he was an AQ terrorist and sent him to Guantanamo.
Judge Leon listened to my analysis of the facts of the case and then excoriated the Department of Justice prosecutors for the egregious nature of their belief that this prisoner of the Taliban was somehow secretly an AQ sympathiser. He ordered the man released to the custody of a European country that wanted to take him in. This lost soul graduated from the national university in that country, got married and practises law, secular law.
Unfortunately, the DC court of appeals has frequently demonstrated its loyalty to the Justice Department and Leon's opinion may be reversed.
Judge Leon has expressed the thought that James Madison would be horrified at the scope and nature of NSA domestic surveillance. Amen. pl