CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

New Law Curtails Habeas Corpus

From The military tribunals bill signed by President Bush on Tuesday marks the first time the right of habeas corpus has been curtailed by law for millions of people in the United States.

Although debate focused on trials at Guantanamo Bay, the new law also takes away from noncitizens in the U.S. — including more than 12 million permanent residents — the right to go to court if they are declared "unlawful enemy combatants."

Before Tuesday, the principle of habeas corpus meant that anyone thrown into jail in the U.S. had a right to ask a judge for a hearing. They also had a right to go free if the government could not show a legal basis for holding them. The Latin term for "you have the body," habeas corpus is considered one of an accused person's most basic rights. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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Prof. Godsey, I think we all know that this artifice is a bit of an oversimplification and not meant for an law-school educated audience. For example, there is an unresolved question of whether Congress can do what it did without “suspending” the writ.

Posted by: S.cotus | Oct 19, 2006 3:02:42 AM

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