ADC Welcomes Historic Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Habeas Corpus, Due Process, and the Rule of Law
Washington, DC | June 12, 2008 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush upholding the right of detainees being held in Guantanamo Bay to Habeas Corpus; the right to seek Federal Court review of there detentions.
In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court ruled that detainees, “?may invoke the fundamental procedural protections of Habeas Corpus. The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.” The Court ruled, “Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law. The Framers decided that habeas corpus, a right of first importance, must be a part of that framework, a part of that law.”
The Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006 stripped Federal Courts of jurisdiction over individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, prohibiting them from challenging their imprisonment in the US court system. As a result, the system of checks and balances by the Judiciary towards the Executive branch of government was circumvented.
ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, “Our Constitutional values have once again stood the test of time and the challenges of power. Today‘s ruling is a victory for due process and the rule of law.” Shora said, “This ruling is yet another sign that our system of checks and balances will remain one of the basic foundations of our nation even when it is challenged under difficult circumstances.”
In August 2007, ADC joined an unusual coalition of public interest groups in filing an Amicus Curiae brief (friend of the court brief) prepared by Fulbright & Jaworski, LL.P., a leading international law firm with a well-recognized Supreme Court and appellate practice, is serving as counsel. Co-counsel on the brief, which supported the detainees rights, included the Constitution Project, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, and the Rutherford Institute. Organizations that joined ADC in the brief included the Open Society Institute, People for the American Way Foundation, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Anti-Defamation League, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers among others.
To read today‘s Supreme Court ruling see: https://www.adc.org/PDF/scourt.pdf
To read the Amicus Curiae brief see: https://www.adc.org/PDF/boumediene.pdf