Charles Dharapak/AP
Writing for the court majority on the Supreme Court's decision on Guantanamo Bay,
Justice Anthony Kennedy declared, "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive,
and remain in force, in extraordinary times." (AP)

Court Says Guantanamo Inmates Can Contest Detention

June 13, 2008 12:37 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff

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.

30-Second Summary

The decision in Boumediene v. Bush was a setback for President George W. Bush's administration and another criticism of its handling of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba, reported The Washington Post.

"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.

Headline Links: Supreme Court rules in favor of detainees

Reactions: President Bush, Sen. McCain

Opinion & Analysis: Newspapers editorials come down on both sides

Background: The arraignment, the charges and controversial coercion techniques

Related Topic: Alleged torture at Guantanamo


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