US judge blocks new restrictions on Guantanamo lawyers

September 7, 2012 02:31

MIAMI - The Obama administration overstepped its authority by trying to impose new restrictions on attorney access to prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, a US federal judge ruled on Thursday.

Ruling in Washington, Chief Judge Royce Lamberth said the previous rules established by the US District Court in Washington four years ago were working well and would continue to govern lawyers' access to Guantanamo prisoners.

The government had argued the new rules did not make substantial changes. In a scathing opinion, Lamberth called one of the government's arguments "quite preposterous" and said another "does not pass the smell test."

"The government's attempt to supersede the court's authority is an illegitimate exercise of executive power," he wrote in the ruling.

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