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November 14, 2005

Bingaman amendment/habeas link dump

Hilzoy and Katherine's closing post in their series on the Graham amendment to end habeas rights for prisoners held abroad, includes links to all ten of their other posts on the topic.

Jeanne on the habeas and torture.

Redd Hedd on why habeas review matters.


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» live with this from Malice Aforethought
How do you live with this? You war-hawks, you keyboard commandos, you rightwing talkshow hosts, you wretched frightened little men with your senate amendments facilitating torture? How do you live with this? Because I haven't reveled in it, as you have... [Read More]


Glad you're keeping us up to date on the parlous state of habeas corpus under the Bush administration, but would you please, please, please spell HABEAS correctly? It's a Latin verb, not a noun, a second person singular subjunctive being used jussively: "Have/hold the body," "You shall have/hold the body," or the like.


after shenanigans, a compromise. (I dont know what exactly the compromise means. gotta wait till all the smart law bloggers post an opinion)

A bipartisan group of senators reached a compromise Monday that would allow detainees at Guantanamo Bay to appeal the rulings of military tribunals to the federal courts.

Under the agreement, detainees who receive a punishment of 10 years in prison to death would receive an automatic appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Lesser sentences would not receive automatic review, but detainees still could petition the court to hear their cases.

In addition, the 500 or so detainees at the U.S. naval base in Cuba would be allowed to challenge in federal court the procedure under which they were labeled "enemy combatants."

The compromise proposal allows the federal court reviews in place of the one tool the Supreme Court gave detainees in 2004 to fight the legality of their detentions - the right to file habeas corpus petitions in federal courts.

"Instead of unlimited lawsuits, the courts now will be looking at whether you're properly determined to be an enemy combatant and, if you're tried, whether or not your conviction followed the military commission procedures in place," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in an interview. He said courts also will determine the constitutionality of the Bush administration's processes for prosecuting terror suspects and determining whether they should continue to be detained.

The Senate will vote on the compromise provision Tuesday. Approval would mean the Senate endorses the Bush administration's military tribunals for prosecuting suspected foreign terrorists at Guantanamo. The Supreme Court agreed last week to review a constitutional challenge to those tribunals.

Related (via war and pieces):

From Chris Nelson's Nelson Report tonight -- is retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor lobbing a few bombshells of her own at the Bush administration:

... O’Connor posed to the Cadets of West Point a series of rhetorical admonitions: “What law governs the detention and interrogation of terrorist suspects? And how are you to know what standards apply?” The fault lies not with US courts, she said, but with the Bush Administration, and to these future officers she asked, “What does your duty demand? It is hard enough to answer the first two questions, but harder still when the nation’s elected leaders are silent about the last?” ...

This torture/detainee treatment issue is one that Bush has abdicated so totally, it has opened up such a moral leadership vacuum that McCain is dancing circles around. What's one thing American troops are known for - doctrine, training, clear guidelines -- that's what makes troops pros in the field. And what's the one thing this administration is depriving them of? Clear guidelines. If detainees die in their hands and the press learns of it, the troops will go to jail, not their commanders. The 9/11 commission weighs in on this as well, faulting the administration.

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