No president should have the power to declare the entire globe a war zone, seize and detain civilians anywhere in the world, and hold them indefinitely without charge or trial.
Presidents Bush and Obama have done just that, and Trump is following, defining their powers too broadly and claiming the authority to arrest and detain without charge or trial prisoners captured far from any battlefield. As a result of this claimed authority, more than 40 men remain imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay.
Our federal courts are well equipped to prosecute terror suspects and handle sensitive national security evidence while protecting fundamental rights. If there is reliable evidence, detainees should be prosecuted in our tried and true justice system. If there is not enough reliable evidence for prosecution, there is certainly not enough to justify locking someone up—possibly forever.
The ACLU fights in courts and advocates with Congress and the executive branch to ensure claims of war-based authority are properly limited to actual armed conflict, to end indefinite detention, and to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay. Imprisoning people indefinitely without charge or trial is unconstitutional, un-American, and an impediment to justice.
- Legal DocumentApril 23, 2018
- News/Press ReleaseApril 19, 2018
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyApril 18, 2018
Doe v. Mattis - ACLU's Combined Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Redacted Public Filing)Legal DocumentApril 18, 2018
Doe v. Mattis - ACLU's Memorandum in Support of Petitioner's Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Redacted Public Filing)Legal DocumentApril 18, 2018
- News/Press ReleaseApril 17, 2018
- News/Press ReleaseJanuary 23, 2018
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyJanuary 5, 2018
- InfographicNovember 8, 2013
- InfographicNovember 5, 2013
The Trump Administration Might Be Trying to Strip the Citizenship of an American Detainee Held in SecretBlog Post - Speak FreelyDecember 22, 2017
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyNovember 3, 2017