John Gibbons Dies at 94; Argued for Rights for Guantánamo Detainees - The New York Times: As a lawyer, he put his faith in equal access to the courts for all, including rioters in Newark in the 1960s; he also served as a federal appellate judge.
John J. Gibbons, a lawyer who persuaded the authorities in Newark to provide access to the courts for people detained during riots in 1967 and nearly 40 years later argued successfully before the Supreme Court that foreign prisoners at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba had legal rights too, died on Dec. 9 in Maplewood, N.J. He was 94.
His death, at an assisted living facility, was confirmed by his daughter Mary Gibbons Whipple, a Superior Court judge in New Jersey.
Mr. Gibbons also spent 20 years as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which is based in Philadelphia; he was its chief judge for three years.
The Guantánamo detainees — 16 were involved in two consolidated cases — contended that they had been denied access to lawyers and federal courts in violation of their due process rights. Lawyers representing the administration of President George W. Bush responded that the courts had no jurisdiction over the base because the detainees were not American citizens and not on American soil.