War on Terror Habeas Corpus: Civil Liberties revoked in times of war.
- Is the US government justified in the occurences, in particular times of war, in which the writ of Habeas Corpus is denied to detained citizens or "enemy combatents?"

What is the controversy surrounding the issue?
- The constitutionality of being detained without having the regular rights of a prisoner and the definition of the criteria for revocation of habeas corpus.

Who does the issue affect?
Person’s suspected of being an enemy to the nation (enemy combatants), as well as American citizens during wartime that are deemed a threat to the nation.

When did the issue become a part of the national dialogue?
Habeas Corpus first originated in the 17th century English legal system, though the issue was first discussed majorly in America in 1790 and today.

In what geographic area are people most affected?
The areas involved in war combat, or areas that have hostile relations. Ex( America and the Middle East region after September 11th)

How has the issue united or divided people?
· Divided the people on the area of civil rights during wartime (can they be taken away for what reasons?).
· Divided the people by questioning the morality of detaining a person based on allegations, not fact.
Divided the people by taking away rights for an indefinite war. If the War on Terrorism were to last longer, but civil liberties be suspended longer as well?

How does this issue connect to the Constitution?
· The whole issue is an argument whether the constitution supports the right to take away rights during a period of wartime
· Questioning whether the constitution gives the government the right to detain a non-citizen based on suspicion of a possible theat. (I.E the prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay that are not US citizens or are not being held on US soil.)
- The suspension clause states that "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it." Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution
This also refers to the 10th amendment which grants implied powers to the states that are not given to the federal government.

Supreme Court Decisions:supreme_court_building1.jpg

- Rasul v. Bush( 2004)
· It’s decision established the U.S. court system‘s authority to decide whether non-U.S. citizens held in Guantanamo Bay were wrongfully imprisoned. The 6-3 ruling , reversed a District Court decision, which held that the Judiciary had no jurisdiction to handle wrongful imprisonment cases involving foreign nationals who are held in Guantanamo Bay.

- Rumsfeld v. Padilla(2004)

· Padilla, who was captured at O'Hare Aiport for being a material witness( than changed to enemy combatent) to the Sept, 11 attacks was held for more than three years without any outside access to people or to a trial. Eventually the case was dismissed and the issue of Padilla's containment unresolved.
· Only reason the people knew the Padilla existed was because he was put in the criminal justice system.

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld( 2004)

Court decision reversing the dismissal of a habeas corpus petition brought on behalf of Yaser Esam Hamdi, a U.S. citizen being detained indefinitely as an "illegal enemy combatant." The Court recognized the power of the government to detain enemy combatants, but ruled that detainees who are U.S. citizens must have the ability to challenge their enemy combatant status before an impartial judge.

- Boumediene v. Bush(2008)

On June 12, 2008, Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority holding that the prisoners had a right to the habeas corpus under the United States Constitution and that the MCA wascartoon714.jpg an unconstitutional suspension of that right.

MCA( 2006)chapter establishes procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses triable by military commission.

Military Commission- is a kind of military court designed to try members of enemy forces during wartime, operating outside the scope of conventional criminal and civil proceedings. The judges are military officers and fulfill the role of jurors.

Current Stand on the Issue:
In 2009 President Obama declared that the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay had the right of Habeas Corpus.u1_obama-guantanamo-cartoon.jpg

Other Facts:
The war years of 1790, the Civil War, and World War I all allowed "enemy combatents: a court hearing, whereas the Rumsfeld v.Padilla case the accused was given no trial or notice. This was dubbed as actions not unlike the Gestapo of Germany who made many individuals “disappear.”

In the Hamdi case, the accussed was later stripped of all citizenship and declared to never be allowed back to the U.S.

Notable times when presidents suspended habeas corpus are Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War, Grant during Reconstruction, Roosevelt during World War II and George Bush after Sept, 2001.

Habeas Corpus started out as a useful tool for king and courts to bring a prisoner to trial, but grew to be a protection for citizens against detention by the state. Habeas Corpus is mentioned in the earliest time in 1305 and earlier in European history as in the Magna Carta of 1215.

Of all of the Habeas Corpus cases heard from US prisons less than 1% of the cases deal with the death penalty.

63% of habeas corpus cases heard are successful.

- War and Liberty, An American Dilemma: 1790- the present by: Geoffrey R. Stone
- Wikipedia.com
- Slate.com
Clark, Joshua W. "Habeas Corpus: Its Importance, History, and." University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Aug. 2007. Web. 19 May 2011