Court Says Guantanamo Inmates Can Contest Detention
The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 that those in custody at Guantanamo Bay on charges of terrorism have the right to challenge their captivity in federal courts.
"We'll abide by the court's decision. That doesn't mean I have to agree with it," President Bush said in reaction to the ruling. "It's a deeply divided court, and I strongly agree with those who dissented, and their dissent was based upon their serious concerns about U.S. national security."
Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said in his dissenting opinion that the decision "will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed."
The case extends habeas corpus, the right of Americans to challenge federal detention, to non-American enemy combatants captured abroad, notes the Wall Street Journal in an opinion piece that also expresses concern for national security.
But those who voted with the majority said that current measures outlined by the Bush administration and Congress are not enough to insure the fair treatment of detainees, some who have been held for years without hearings.
Earlier this month, five alleged terrorists linked to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were arraigned at a court in Guantanamo after being imprisoned without trial for several years. The defendants were charged with 2,973 counts of murder, as well as conspiracy in plotting the attacks.