Conservatives Call for Habeas


Ah, a bipartisan issue.

Today the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in two cases related to habeas corpus, Boumediene v. Bush and al Odah v. United States. Their quick hour through oral arguments will test the validity of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which essentially strips federal foreign detainees at Guantanamo of their right to be heard in court. (Check out today’s top story about a group of Algerians who were set to be freed from a Bosnian prison six years ago, only to end up at Gitmo, where they’ve been, without trial and awaiting this ruling, ever since.)

The Supremes will likely read dozens of amicus briefs in the case, many of which fall nowhere along party lines, like this one signed by a bevy of policy leaders and diplomats, and this one signed by 20 former federal judges. Both bipartisan briefs urge the Court to strike down the provision of the Act that eliminates the detainees’ rights.

No telling how this one will turn out. The Supreme Court originally denied the detainees’ petition for certiorari (essentially an appeal) in April, and, then did an about-face, reversing that decision in June.

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