Professor Hannah Garry filed a SCOTUS amicus brief on August 20th on behalf of torture survivors in the first case to make it to the Supreme Court on the U.S.’s enhanced interrogation program following 9/11. The case is timely in that it’s being heard on the year that marks the 20th anniversary since the attacks of 9/11.

Oral arguments will take place on Oct. 6th.

The case, US v. Husayn/Abu Zubaydah (more background here) arises out of a request by Polish authorities to depose two private contractors for the CIA, psychologists Mitchell & Jessen, as part of its ongoing criminal investigation arising out of it hosting a CIA blacksite and complicity in Bush-era torture. The long-time representative of CIA black-site detainee/torture victim, Abu Zubaydah, whose interrogation was the subject of the infamous torture memos, filed a motion pusuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782 to take depositions for use in the Polish criminal investigation into the detention, interrogation and torture that occured at a CIA blacksite in Poland; Abu Zubaydah remains detained in Guantanamo without charge.

The United States intervened in the US proceedings regarding the depositions and asserted the “state secrets” privilege, thereby seeking to block any testimony/evidence from the two former contractors (they regularly appear on Fox news and one has published a book about their work with the CIA torture program; both have been deposed in US proceedings, albeit with some limitations on what they can answer — Abu Zubaydah doesn’t object to their being some limitations here too.) The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the blanket invocation of the state secrets doctrine, and ordered the district court to do a review of which material could be (and in some cases, already has been) made public and that which should be withheld under the “state secrets privilege.” The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to review, which the Biden administration supported in the reply brief for cert filed in March. The US and respondents have filed their merits briefs.