THE RULE OF LAW ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
Robert C. Kirsch
Co-lead Counsel, Boumediene v. Bush; Partner, WilmerHale
An interview with Robert C. Kirsch conducted by Ronald J. Grele on February 8 and June 28, 2012, and September 13, 2013 for the Columbia Center for Oral History, Rule of Law Oral History Project.
In the years prior to the war on terror, Robert Kirsch was focused on the emerging field of environmental law. But when his firm, WilmerHale, was approached to take on the pro bono case that would become Boumediene v. Bush, Mr. Kirsch became one of the earliest lawyer advocates for Guantánamo detainees' rights. Highlights of this interview include discussions of Mr. Kirsch's early experiences in environmental law litigation, the ineffectiveness of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals [CSRTs], Guantánamo detainee living conditions and abuse, his relationships with and representation of the "Algerian Six," the diplomatic difficulties of detainee resettlement, the unconstitutionality of the Detainee Treatment Act [DTA], and the Obama administration's mishandling of the closure of Guantánamo.