Monday, October 01, 2007

Front and Center at the Supreme Court

A 2006 law, passed by Congress and signed by Mr Bush prohibits Guantanamo Bay detainees from challenging their confinement in federal courts and states their cases can only be heard by military commissions, not civilian courts.

This term, Supreme Court justices will decide whether in doing so, the law has violated the constitutional requirement to provide habeas corpus - a procedure under which someone who holds a prisoner is required to show reason why to a court - to prisoners in the US.

The US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that habeas corpus does not apply to foreign nationals being held at Guantanamo Bay because it is not US soil.

Professor AE Dick Howard, of the University of Virginia School of Law, said the Guantanamo cases would be "front and centre" of the new session.

Laura Smith-Spark
BBC News, Washington

Nb. If the detainees "win" is that a conserative or liberal outcome? Hint: is the Constitutional right to habeas corpus a conservative or liberal notion? Hint 2: Is supporting tyranny conservative or liberal?

Check these for more previews: Adler

Wittes: "it made fools of those of us who believe in it as something more elevated: an institution that aspires to rule based on principle. It was depressing, and the most depressing part is that sinking feeling that the justices will do the same thing again beginning today."

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