Supreme Court Strikes a Blow for Liberty
SOURCE: AP/Lawrence Jackson
Today’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush has reaffirmed one of the most ancient rights known to our civilization: the principle of habeas corpus, which entitles all who are imprisoned to challenge the basis for their confinement in a court of law.
In a landmark decision, the Court repudiated the efforts of Congress and the Bush administration to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus petitions on behalf of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay and to substitute constitutionally defective procedures in their place.
That this increasingly conservative Court, so tone deaf to the demands of due process and so deferential to presidential power, has seen fit to rebuke the administration in such forceful terms, says much about the outlandishness of the policies pursued by the Bush administration.
While the 5-4 majority was a narrow one, the decision will go a long way toward restoring respect for the rule of law. What it cannot restore is the years of isolation and indignity that have been inflicted on individuals who have never been charged with a crime and may be innocent of wrongdoing.
This is the third time the Court has denounced the treatment of persons captured in the aftermath of 9/11. It is to be hoped that this time, Congress and the administration will abide by the Court’s decision and, at long last, abandon their futile attempts to circumvent the Constitution and the rule of law.
To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:
Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or email@example.com
Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or email@example.com
Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or email@example.com
Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or firstname.lastname@example.org