The Challenge: How a Maverick Navy Officer and a Young Law Professor Risked Their Careers to Defend the Consitution--and Won
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The Challenge tells the inside story of an improbable act of patriotism. At its center are Navy lawyer Charles Swift and Georgetown law professor Neal Katyal, two men who, in the aftermath of 9/11, found themselves defending an accused Yemeni terrorist named Salim Hamdan in America's first military tribunals since World War II. The entire system was stacked against them, and Swift's superiors were pressing him to enter a guilty plea. Instead, he and Katyal sued the Bush administration on their client's behalf, arguing that his trial and treatment were illegal and unconstitutional. In the spring of 2006, the case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, reached the Supreme Court. The resulting ruling changed the legal landscape of the War on Terror, and it has been called the Court's most important decision ever on presidential power and the rule of law.
Jonathan Mahler's gripping, detailed chronicle follows the case from Yemen to Guantanamo to the courtrooms and the chambers of power in Washington, delivering "the definitive work on an epic Supreme Court case--and on the human beings behind the headlines" (Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court).