By Mike Barber, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. October 5, 2007
A federal judge in Tacoma has delayed the court-martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, a Fort Lewis Army officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq.
In a rare intervention of a civilian court in the military justice system, U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin H. Settle granted the emergency stay (PDF) shortly before close of business Friday. Watada’s trial, slated to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, is now postponed until at least Oct. 26, the judge ruled.
In granting the stay at 4:48 p.m., Settle determined that he has jurisdiction under federal law to grant the stay and that Watada’s claim that a second-trial amounts to double jeopardy is not frivolous and “has merit” for consideration.