Joe Margulies

For years Minneapolis attorney Joe Margulies has been known to City Pages news sleuths as a man with a nose for legal injustices and a gift for explaining said indignities in quotes both simple and compelling. In short, he's a great source. But he's also humble, arguing his causes and then shunning any stray bits of associated limelight. Well, tough luck, Joe, it's about time friends and neighbors heard what you've been up to. In the days after 9/11, Margulies picked up on the ominous potential of the Bush administration's announcement that it felt perfectly free to hold suspected enemy combatants indefinitely, without any of the basic rights accorded U.S. criminal defendants or even prisoners of war. The twists make for a long (and riveting) story, but the nutshell version is that Margulies got himself some clients--no mean feat, given that they were being held incommunicado on a military base in Cuba--and a teaching appointment at the University of Chicago to keep the bills paid. Then, last year, he went and won his case, Rasul et al. vs. Bush, President of the United States, before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Scalia dissented, yes, but he also believes it's okay to execute children, and we're not claiming Margulies can walk on water.) As a result, U.S. courts now have jurisdiction to consider challenges to the legality of detaining foreign nationals captured abroad and incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay. Translation: Whether he likes it or not, the Constitution applies to Bush, too. Good going, Joe.


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