August 9, 2007
Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, '94, was drawn into the national news spotlight when he became the first member of the military panels that determine "enemy combatants" status to voice criticism of the process.
The Newport Beach attorney, an Army intelligence reserve officer, submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court that said a panel he served on was pressured to find against a Guantanamo Bay detainee in a hearing. Just three days after his affidavit was filed, the Supreme Court reversed a previous opinion regarding the Guantánamo detainees, agreeing to hear an appeal arguing that the tribunals were unjust and that detainees should have the right to challenge the basis of their detention in federal courts. Many constitutional law professors and lawyers contend that Abraham's affidavit was a major factor in the Supreme Court's decision. Abraham was the subject of a front-page New York Times story on July 23 and he testified before the House Armed Services Committee on July 26. Abraham is a principal in the Newport Beach firm of Fink & Abraham LLP.