September 2, 2007
Linda Greenhouse virtuosity
: a great synopsis of the habeas restoration landscape as we wait with baited breath for Congress to come back from their August recess (no pun intended). Key grafs, buried at the end of the story:
The recently filed briefs argue strenuously that the tribunals and their review process fall far short by, among other shortcomings, failing to give detainees access to the evidence needed to rebut the government's charges. A brief filed by retired senior military officers calls the process "little more than a facade" that violates basic principles of military law.
Perhaps the most striking of all the briefs is the one filed by Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania. The withdrawal of habeas corpus, he tells the justices, "is anathema to fundamental liberty interests," and the combatant status review tribunal process is so deeply flawed that it "demands robust habeas review."
Specter was chairman of the Judiciary Committee when the Military Commissions Act was passed. He was, in fact, one of the 65 senators who voted for it.