The stable bulwark of our liberties

Foundation for Economic Education
by Sheldon Richman


The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday struck a blow for the separation of powers and dealt the Bush administration a big setback by ruling that suspects held without charge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have the right to contest their imprisonment under the doctrine of habeas corpus. Simply put, the Court held that the government may not keep anyone in custody without having to justify its actions to a judge...


The clash over habeas corpus

Independent Institute
by Anthony Gregory


The writ of habeas corpus, a process to scrutinize detentions, is an ancient issue, seven centuries old. Members of the 17th-century English Parliament resented the King’s circumvention of the writ’s reach by sending prisoners to remote lands. The Supreme Court has now sided with those who long ago opposed such dirty executive tricks. In late 2001, the administration set up the prison camp in Cuba. The idea was to have executive control but not be subject to U.S. judicial checks. Since the prison is on Cuban ’sovereign territory,’ American courts supposedly have no right to intervene. But the U.S. has had ‘complete and uninterrupted control of the bay for over 100 years,’ Justice Kennedy wrote for the Court. ‘In every practical sense Guantanamo is not abroad; it is within the constant jurisdiction of the United States’...

Habeas corpus: The bulwark of our liberties

Future of Freedom Foundation
by The US Supreme Court


We begin with a brief account of the history and origins of the writ. Our account proceeds from two propositions. First, protection for the privilege of habeas corpus was one of the few safeguards of liberty specified in a Constitution that, at the outset, had no Bill of Rights. In the system conceived by the Framers the writ had a centrality that must inform proper interpretation of the Suspension Clause. Second, to the extent there were settled precedents or legal commentaries in 1789 regarding the extraterritorial scope of the writ or its application to enemy aliens, those authorities can be instructive for the present cases...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Supreme Court Checks and Balances in Boumediene

Legal scholar Marjorie Cohn writing for Jurist: "After the Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited opinion upholding habeas corpus rights for the Guantanamo detainees, I was invited to appear on 'The O'Reilly Factor' with guest host Laura Ingraham. Although she is a lawyer and former law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, Ingraham has no use for our judicial branch of government, noting that the justices are 'unelected.' Indeed, she advocated that Bush break the law and disregard the Court's decision in Boumediene v. Bush."


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