12/10/13: The Miami Herald reports the key appellate court that’s incited a Senate-confirmation clash confronted on Monday touchy questions about searches of detainees at the US Navy base at Guantánamo Bay. Even as a bitterly divided Senate prepared to add new judges to the powerful US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a panel showed the court’s long reach by considering a challenge to Guantánamo search procedures. Initiated in May amid a detainee hunger strike, the new procedures include flat-hand frisking of groins and buttocks when detainees travel within Guantánamo to meet with attorneys. Defense attorneys contend that the aggressive searches deter detainees from talking to counsel. In July, US District Judge Royce Lamberth agreed and ordered the searches halted. The Obama administration appealed, leading to the 45-minute oral argument Monday before a three-judge panel.