The White House argues that indefinite detention of enemy combatants -- without recourse to civilian court -- is a war-on-terrorism necessity in a new and dangerous world.
By 2006, after U.S. civil liberties lawyers filed several hundred habeas corpus petitions, the Bush administration and sympathetic lawmakers accused the prisoners and their lawyers of undermining American justice by clogging the federal docket with their cases.
The Pentagon says it now holds about 340 men as enemy combatants at Guantánamo Bay, and has service members review their cases.
But the Israeli lawyers point out that Israel's nearly 60-year-old democracy has faced an almost unrelenting history of terrorism -- and still lets dangerous captives individually challenge their detention all the way to Israel's High Court of Justice.
In response, the Israelis boast in the 104-page brief that the Israeli army seized nearly 7,000 ''suspected enemy combatants'' in the West Bank in May 2002, swiftly processed and freed more than 5,000 -- and gave the remaining 1,600 suspects access to defense counsel and independent courts within weeks.
Ever since the U.S. opened the prison camps at Guantánamo, the Bush administration has rebuffed war-on-terrorism captives' efforts to file a traditional writ asking a federal court judge to review their case.
Many have never seen an attorney, among them the 16 ''high-value'' captives, most of whom were held and interrogated for years at secret CIA ``black sites.''
Instead, the last Republican-led Congress gave an appeals court limited oversight of Pentagon panels that classify Guantánamo captives as ''enemy combatants'' -- if they have lawyers.
In contrast, said Gross, Israel must let a captive see a lawyer within 30 days -- or regularly justify an administrative detention that denies a captive rights to a civilian judge every three to six months.
Foreigners periodically file briefs with the court on international issues, said New York University law professor Stephen Schulhofer, a member of the Supreme Court Bar who filed the brief for the Israelis.
But he called ''probably unprecedented'' the number of briefs in the Boumediene case and ``level of interest from all over the world, recognizing that what the United States does to foreign nationals it captures is something that resonates around the world.''