Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


"To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice."

The United States senate voted today to deny habeas corpus to prisoners at Guantanamo. The United States Supreme Court had recently held that

United States courts have jurisdiction to consider challenges to the legality of the detention of foreign nationals captured abroad in connection with hostilities and incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay.

The vote today would remove that jurisdiction as a matter of law.
The British judge Albert Venn Dicey has said that Habeas corpus is “worth a hundred constitutional articles guaranteeing individual liberty”.
It may be, as the President’s attorney once wrote, “quaint” to think that persons ought to enjoy the same freedom from arbitrary imprisonment that they did when the Magna Carta was signed. Human history is of course replete with examples demonstrating the foolishness and danger of that claim, but for those who would be seduced by it, the Washington Post offers a contemporary example of the evil wrought by unchecked executive power.
How many more do we need?

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