Supreme Court Bails Out of Hearing Gitmo Detainee Case

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, which was set to hear arguments later this month in a case involving detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, announced Monday it will no longer consider the matter.

The case of the Chinese Muslim detainees, known as Uighurs, was expected to be the latest War on Terrorism blockbuster in front of the Supreme Court but Monday's unsigned order sends the case back to the lower courts for further action.

The Obama administration has had difficulty relocating the men who've been detained at Guantanamo Bay since 2001 but are now no longer considered a threat.  However, recent successful efforts by the government to find countries that will accept most of the men has led the high court to strike the case from its docket.

Monday's ruling noted that only five Uighurs remain at Guantanamo and that "this change in the underlying facts may affect the legal issues presented."  The ruling also says each of the remaining detainees has refused two offers of resettlement.

In 2008, a federal judge in Washington concluded the men had been detained long enough and ordered the men released into the United States. On emergency appeal, the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals blocked that decision and eventually overturned the ruling.  The case now returns to the D.C. Circuit for more litigation based on the new developments.