Boumediene v bush summary. Boumediene v. Bush :: 549 U.S. 1328 (2007) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center 2022-10-14
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Boumediene v. Bush was a landmark Supreme Court case decided in 2008 that dealt with the issue of habeas corpus and the detention of enemy combatants at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
At the heart of the case was Lakhdar Boumediene, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina who was arrested by Bosnian authorities in 2001 on suspicion of terrorism. He was later transferred to U.S. custody and detained at Guantanamo Bay without charge or trial. Boumediene and several other detainees filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that they had a right under the U.S. Constitution to challenge their detention in a court of law.
The Bush administration argued that the detainees were not entitled to habeas corpus because they were not U.S. citizens and were being held outside of U.S. territory. The administration also claimed that the detainees were enemy combatants who were not entitled to the same legal protections as ordinary criminal defendants.
The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of Boumediene and the other detainees, holding that they had a constitutional right to habeas corpus. The Court rejected the Bush administration's argument that the detainees were not entitled to habeas corpus because they were not U.S. citizens, stating that the Constitution's habeas corpus provision applies to all "persons" within the jurisdiction of the United States, regardless of citizenship.
The Court also rejected the administration's argument that the detainees were not entitled to habeas corpus because they were being held outside of U.S. territory, stating that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay was effectively under U.S. control and therefore within the jurisdiction of the United States.
The decision in Boumediene v. Bush was a significant victory for the detainees and a major blow to the Bush administration's policy on the detention of enemy combatants. It established that even non-citizen detainees held at Guantanamo Bay had the right to challenge their detention in a court of law and ensured that they would not be held indefinitely without charge or trial.
Boumediene v. Bush :: 549 U.S. 1328 (2007) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center
On the other hand, the mere fact that detainees are classified as enemy combatants or held at Guantanamo Bay is not independently enough to prevent them from seeking habeas corpus under the Suspension Clause. There was an immediate outcry of protest. The detainee can confront witnesses that testify during the CSRT proceedings. That it had the power to issue the writ in nonsovereign territory does not prove that common-law courts sitting in England had the same power. . But others have succeeded in carrying on their atrocities against innocent civilians. The Clause protects the rights of the detained by a means consistent with the essential design of the Constitution.
Petitioners identify what they see as myriad deficiencies in the CSRTs. The Court denied certiorari in this case, but Justice Breyer joined in part by Justices Souter and Ginsburg wrote a dissent to the denial of certiorari explaining why he believes the Court should have granted certiorari. Nothing in the text of the Constitution extends such a right, nor does anything in our statutes. But the argument in favor of statutorily authorized release is stronger than that. Petitioners contend they do have cognizable constitutional rights and that Congress, in seeking to eliminate recourse to habeas corpus as a means to assert those rights, acted in violation of the Suspension Clause. United States, Downes v. The ability to challenge the bases of their detention before military tribunals modeled after Geneva Convention procedures.
It is merely a deferment of resort to the writ until other corrective procedures are shown to be futile. Madison, 1 Cranch 137 1803 ; emphasis added. Rumsfeld, American citizens as enemy combatants during the course of the present conflict. The ways to disrupt our life and laws are so many and unforeseen that the Court should not attempt even some general catalogue of crises that might occur. Contrary to the majority, Hamdi is of pressing relevance because it establishes the procedures American citizens detained as enemy combatants can expect from a habeas court proceeding under §2241. These considerations resulted in the doctrine of territorial incorporation, under which the Constitution applies in full in incorporated Territories surely destined for statehood but only in part in unincorporated Territories.
The political history of Guantanamo illustrates the deficiencies of this approach. The Ross Court held that the petitioner, who was a British subject, had no rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. If that sort of procedure sounds familiar, it should. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 131 1768 hereinafter Blackstone. Under the terms of the 1934 Treaty, however, Cuba effectively has no rights as a sovereign until the parties agree to modification of the 1903 Lease Agreement or the United States abandons the base. Were that the case, or were it probable that the Court of Appeals could complete a prompt review of their applications, the case for requiring temporary abstention or exhaustion of alternative remedies would be much stronger. That it had the power to issue the writ in nonsovereign territory does not prove that common-law courts sitting in England had the same power.
It also must have the authority to admit and consider relevant exculpatory evidence that was not introduced during the earlier proceeding. Laskin, The British Tradition in Canadian Law 50—51 1969. Teets, Indeed, common-law habeas corpus was, above all, an adaptable remedy. It is in fact the very lapse of four years from the time Rasul put everyone on notice that habeas process was available to Guantanamo prisoners, and the lapse of six years since some of these prisoners were captured and incarcerated, that stand at odds with the repeated suggestions of the dissenters that these cases should be seen as a judicial victory in a contest for power between the Court and the political branches. This interpretive rule facilitates a dialogue between Congress and the Court.
Or will subpoenas issued by American habeas courts run to Basra? If, in a future case, a detainee files a habeas petition in another judicial district in which a proper respondent can be served, see Rumsfeld v. Some 38 detainees have been released as a result of this process. The majority is equally wrong to characterize the CSRTs as part of that initial determination process. See Regulating Act of 1773, 13 Geo. Porto Rico, Insular Cases was not whether the Constitution extended to the Philippines or Porto Rico when we went there, but which of its provisions were applicable by way of limitation upon the exercise of executive and legislative power in dealing with new conditions and requirements. The Court stressed the difficulties of ordering the Government to produce the prisoners in a habeas corpus proceeding. MCA §7 thus effects an unconstitutional suspension of the writ.
Boumediene v. Bush :: 553 U.S. 723 (2008) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center
Common-law decisions withholding the writ from prisoners detained in these places easily could be explained as efforts to avoid either or both of two embarrassments: conflict with the judgments of another court of competent jurisdiction; or the practical inability, by reason of distance, of the English courts to enforce their judgments outside their territorial jurisdiction. On the contrary, the exercise of those powers is vindicated, not eroded, when confirmed by the Judicial Branch. Established legal doctrine, however, must be consulted for its teaching. Yet at the outset it was used to protect not the rights of citizens but those of the King and his courts. Our ancestors brought with them its general principles, and claimed it as their birthright; but they brought with them and adopted only that portion which was applicable to their situation. Important as the principle was, the Barons at Runnymede prescribed no specific legal process to enforce it. Under the DTA the Court of Appeals has the power to review CSRT determinations by assessing the legality of standards and procedures.
And the habeas court must have the power to order the conditional release of an individual unlawfully detained—though release need not be the exclusive remedy and is not the appropriate one in every case in which the writ is granted. Circuit has the authority to say so on review. First, protection for the privilege of habeas corpus was one of the few safeguards of liberty specified in a Constitution that, at the outset, had no Bill of Rights. The Justices who decided Eisentrager would have understood sovereignty as a multifaceted concept. The detainees, moreover, are held in a territory that, while technically not part of the United States, is under the complete and total control of our Government.
The right to the aid of a personal representative in arranging and presenting their cases before a CSRT. §1891 did not apply to the Philippines. Interpreting the AUMF, the Department of Defense ordered the detention of these petitioners, and they were transferred to Guantanamo. Unlike Scotland and Hanover, Canada followed English law. It is not credible at all. And given that the consequence of error may be detention of persons for the duration of hostilities that may last a generation or more, this is a risk too significant to ignore. Alexander Hamilton likewise explained that by providing the detainee a judicial forum to challenge detention, the writ preserves limited government.