Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Guantánamo is Here: The Military Commissions Act and Noncitizen Vulnerability An Issue Brief by: Muneer I. Ahmad
Here is an "Guantánamo is Here: The Military Commissions Act and Noncitizen Vulnerability" An Issue Brief for the American Constitution Society by Muneer I. Ahmad. Professor Ahmad examines how the Military Commissions Act of 2006 ("MCA") allocates rights premised on a distinction between citizens and noncitizens, which, he argues, creates a rights differential supported by neither law nor reason. In the two upcoming Supreme Court cases, Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. United States, the Court will decide whether the MCA constitutionally removes the right of habeas corpus for detainees at Guantánamo Bay. By analyzing the origins of the MCA, and how in its current form the Act "strips [the] substantive and procedural rights of noncitizens only," Professor Ahmad argues that the ramifications of the Court's decision may extend well beyond the Guantánamo detainees. For instance, in Al-Marri v. Wright, an attempt has been made to strip habeas rights for an individual detained in South Carolina. In addition, Professor Ahmad explains that the MCA's divide between citizens and noncitizens "contributes to a culture of immigrant vulnerability." He concludes that the MCA has raised "questions of how, and why, citizenship matters to the availability of the most fundamental protections against the exercise of state power," and in so doing "has brought Guantánamo to our shores."