Boumediene Decision: Gitmo Detainees Have Habeas Rights

This morning the Supreme Court announced its decision in Boumediene v. Bush, and it's a good one! SCOTUSBlog writes:

In a stunning blow to the Bush Administration in its war-on-terrorism policies, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign nationals held at Guantánamo Bay have a right to pursue habeas challenges to their detention. The Court, dividing 5-4, ruled that Congress had not validly taken away habeas rights.

The Court stressed that it was not ruling that the detainees are entitled to be released — that is, entitled to have writs issued to end their confinement. That issue, it said, is left to the District Court judges who will be hearing the challenges. The Court also said that “we do not address whether the President has authority to detain” the individuals at the U.S. Naval base in Cuba; that, too, it said, is to be considered by the District judges.

We'll have more once the decision is released. For some background on Guantánamo, Ben Wizner, Staff Attorney for the ACLU's National Security Project, wrote a great history of Gitmo as a prison and the court cases that surround it.

Remember this day: it's the beginning of the end for Guantánamo.

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Todd

Regarding the Supreme Court judgement in favor of the detainees rights in our civil courts. I hope the ghosts of all the brave souls who died on United Flight 93 haunt your miserable dreams every night for the rest of your pathetic lives. You are all scum, I wish you were dropped off in the middle of an Al Queda village, oh wait you'd be hailed as hero's there wouldn't you. We'll all sleep a bit less soundly knowing you've made our country a little less safe and secure, well may be not a little?

Jim

Todd, you're an idiot. The rule of law is paramount. You should be on your knees thanking the ACLU and its work to protect you from government tyranny.

Jim

Oh, and don't forget the innocent who have rotted in Guantanamo with no way to challenge their detention. If it was one of your family or loved ones kidnapped by the state you would be hailing the ACLU. Ignorant fool.

Mike

Todd, do you even know who you're angry at?

This is the Supreme Court's decision, based on the Constitution.

Maybe you'd prefer a country without a judicial check on the Executive, or without a pesky Constitution guaranteeing basic rights?

And in that case, you might be better suited to the 'Al Queda' village than the ACLU lawyers - no annoying rule of law there!

TINA

YOU PEOPLE ARE THE DESTRUCTION OF THIS COUNTRY, I MEAN YOU ARE DESTROYING AMERICA.I WISH YOU ALL WOULD JUST MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY SINCE THIS ONE IS TOO MEAN AND NASTY FOR YOU. YOU DONT LOVE THIS COUNTRY ANYWAY YOU PIECES OF SHIT. JUST MOVE THE HELL OUT OF THIS COUNTRY. WE DO NOT WANT ANY OF YOU ASSHOLES.. THINK ABOUT IT PLEASE

TINA

IF ANYONE CARES OR DOES NOT UNDERSTAND WHO I AM REFERRING IT IS ALL MEMBERS OF THE ACLU. THEY ARE FAR LEFT FREAKS WHO PUT US ALL RISK. THEY JUST HATE BUSH SO MUCH DO YOU REALLY THINK THE ACLU GIVES A SHIT ABOUT ANY OF US. THEIR HATE FOR BUSH IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THINKING OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. HEY ACLU, WE ALL KNOW IT TOO.

Pete

"Bush administration's failed national security policies." Failed?? No attacks since 9/11. I wouldn't call that a failure. Also, "One important law in that regard is the prohibition on politically partisan activity." The first comment from the press release sounds pretty partisan to me. Let's face it, the ACLU is no longer about liberties, it's about lawyers. It's about wordsmithing and marketing to push an agenda. Sadly, there are unintended consequences.....Whoops, no problem. Send in more lawyers. I guess that is the beauty of the way the ACLU is structured. As an entity, it assumes no risk, it can then go ahead and sue the organizations that forcefully assumed tremendous risk as a result of ACLU action. Congratulations ladies and gentlemen of the ACLU. The Military is now going to unleash 800, very bad, highly skilled men on the world. But I guess it doesn't matter, your world is all about theory, not details.

Anonymous

Todd, Tina, et. al:

If you don't like the Constitution, move to Russia.

David

"The rule of law is paramount."

No, Jim, the survival of our country and the safety of its citzens is paramount.
And the "rule of law" does not apply to foreign enemies. This was a bad decision - constitutional rights do not apply to nonresident foreigners.

"You should be on your knees thanking the ACLU and its work to protect you from government tyranny."
What hyperbole. How is detaining FOREIGN COMBATANTS at an OVERSEAS LOCATION the same as "governemnt tyranny"?

All of you are second-guessing, Bush-hating whiners. How about "thanks for keeping our country safe for 7 years".

ondelette

I actually came here to ask about the 13,000 prisoners the U.S. is keeping in Afghanistan and the 21,000 it is keeping in Iraq. There are ten times as many prisoners being hidden from the ICRC in Afghanistan as there are total prisoners at GITMO.

From what I read in the decision, the three part criteria for whether the prisoners have habeas rights, two of the three parts lean heavily on GITMO's special status. Does that mean the decision doesn't apply to the prison nation the U.S. created in Central Asia?

Anyway, that was my question.

I was somewhat unprepared for the anti-ACLU vitriol, especially from people who haven't discovered how to work the CAPS key on their computers. The ACLU protects your rights, even when you rail against them. Don't know what your problems are, but I do know that only cowards believe in destroying human dignity because they are afraid of terrorists. Cowards who are afraid of the rule of law. In other countries, they get their heads cracked to try to get freedoms like those the Supreme Court was upholding today, like those the people at ACLU and CCR go to work to preserve day in and day out. Here you accuse people of treachery for maintaining the system of rights we have. Cowards chose their own security over the principles the country was founded on, cowards quiver before little groups like al Qaeda, cowards abandon the rule of law to feel safe at someone else's expense.

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