BREAKING: Habeas Rights Upheld For Gitmo Detainees By SCOTUS
In a stunning blow to Bush Administration claims of executive power, the SCOTUS today issed a 5-4 decision upholding the habeas rights of detainees at Gitmo. Via SCOTUSBlog:
The Court has released the opinion in Boumediene v. Bush(06-1195) and Al-Odah v. United States (06-1196), on whether the Military Commissions Act of 2006 violates the habeas corpus rights of foreign detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. The ruling below, which found for the government, is reversed. Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion. The Chief Justice, Justice Scalia, Thomas and Alito dissented.
The opinion is not yet online for a full reading, but AP reports that:
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.
The justices handed the Bush administration its third setback at the high court since 2004 over its treatment of prisoners who are being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The vote was 5-4, with the court’s liberal justices in the majority.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times."
This is an enormous rebuke to the Bush Administration and their supporters who rammed the MCA forward, and a repudiation of their attempts to override the rule of law on fear tactics and power grabs. More from SCOTUSblog here, who also have links to other opinions issued today including that of the Irizarry case on notice on departures from sentencing guidelines.
Much more on this as we get it.
UPDATE #2: From the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented defendants in these cases: "The Supreme Court has finally brought an end to one of our nation’s most egregious injustices,” said CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren. “It has finally given the men held at Guantánamo the justice that they have long deserved. By granting the writ of habeas corpus, the Supreme Court recognizes a rule of law established hundreds of years ago and essential to American jurisprudence since our nation’s founding. This six-year-long nightmare is a lesson in how fragile our constitutional protections truly are in the hands of an overzealous executive."