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Will Padilla's case be heard?

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"Adjudication of the claims pressed by [Padilla] in this case would necessarily require an examination of the manner in which the government identifies, captures, designates, detains, and interrogates enemy combatants," the brief says.

Obama overhauls some Bush policies

Critics of the Bush administration have been calling on President Obama to authorize an aggressive investigation into antiterror tactics authorized by President Bush. But the Obama administration has seemed cool to the idea.

In the meantime, Mr. Obama has undertaken a broad overhaul of US national security policy related to terrorism. Last week, he ordered an end to secret CIA prisons, the closing of the terror prison camp at Guantánamo within a year, and an immediate ban on torture and other extreme interrogation techniques.

Padilla's lawyers have filed a similar lawsuit in San Francisco against John Yoo, a former Justice Department official who wrote a series of legal memos authorizing harsh interrogation tactics. On February 6, a federal judge will consider a motion by Justice Department lawyers to dismiss that case.

In the Charleston lawsuit, Padilla is suing those he alleges are responsible for his treatment – which included two years in extreme isolation combined with sleep and sensory deprivation to prepare him for interrogations. He is seeking a token $1 in damages from each named defendant, and a judicial ruling on the legality of the government's conduct.

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