A federal appeals court says the civilian courts do not have authority to hear the cases of three detainees imprisoned at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.
The detainees had petitioned the courts seeking to be freed.
The jurisdiction of the U.S. courts does not extend to foreigners held in the Bagram facility in the Afghan theater of war, three appeals court judges said in a unanimous decision. The appeals judges said a U.S. district judge should have thrown out the detainees' petitions.
The ruling noted that the U.S. is holding the detainees through a cooperative arrangement with Afghanistan on Afghan territory.
"While we cannot say that extending our constitutional protections to the detainees would be in any way disruptive of that relationship, neither can we say with certainty what the reaction of the Afghan government would be," said the opinion written by Judge David Sentelle.