NEW YORK - A Federal appeals court will hear arguments on Wednesday by attorneys for Jonathan Pollard, as part of an ongoing legal battle seeking the removal of broad and severe parole restrictions.
In court filings, the attorneys argued that were a lower court’s ruling rejecting a habeus corpus petition be allowed to stand, it would set a precedent that would have dire consequences for the rights of many other Americans.
Pollard was released from prison in November of 2015 after serving 30 years of an unprecedented life sentence for passing classified information to Israel, a close U.S. ally.
He is battling unusually harsh restrictions which include the wearing of an electronic bracelet at all times for GPS tracking of his whereabouts, which needs to be recharged on Shabbos. He also has a 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. curfew, and during the daytime he is only permitted to travel in parts of Manhattan, and is even prohibited from visiting nearby Brooklyn. The restrictions also include the unfettered monitoring and inspection of his computers, as well as those of any employer who chooses to hire him, which has prevented him from being able to gain employment.
A legal observer who has been following the Pollard case for many years, and spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told Hamodia on Monday that a series of recent legal rulings by judges with regard to the presidents travel ban is indicative of a “new openness” on the part of courts to challenge governmental claims of national security.
“Judges are increasingly willing to tell the Justice Department that if you want to use claims of national security in order to deprive someone of their rights, you have to be prepared to substantiate those claims. In the Pollard case, were the government forced by the court to substantiate the notion that after 31 years, there is still-classified info in Pollard’s head, it is virtually certain the Parole Commission would be unable to do so,” he said.