Case Tests Limits of Holding Citizens in Military Prison

By Warren Richey writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 28, 2002 | Go to article overview

Case Tests Limits of Holding Citizens in Military Prison


Warren Richey writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


The US Constitution guarantees that Americans have a right to appear before an impartial judge whenever the government attempts to take away their liberty.

But should the so-called "privilege of the writ of habeas corpus" apply in the midst of a war on terrorism in the same way that it has during times of peace? And what if the alleged terrorist is a US citizen?

Those are among the fundamental questions confronting a three- judge federal appeals court panel in Richmond, Va., today as it takes up the case of alleged Taliban soldier Yaser Hamdi. The US- born Saudi is being held incommunicado without charge or access to a lawyer in a military prison in Norfolk, Va.

A second US citizen, Jose Padilla, is being held under similar conditions in a military prison in Charleston, S.C. Mr. Padilla is suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda to detonate a nuclear "dirty bomb" in the US. A habeas petition on his behalf is pending before a federal judge in New York.

Both cases have sparked a heated debate among constitutional law scholars over whether President Bush is abusing his authority as commander in chief by ordering the indefinite detention of the two men.

Landmark in US law?

Both the Hamdi and Padilla cases raise the prospect of a potential landmark in US law because they offer the federal courts - and potentially the US Supreme Court - the opportunity to resolve uncertainties about the judiciary's role in striking the proper balance between civil liberties and national security in times of crisis.

The specific issue in the Hamdi case is to what extent a federal judge may second-guess the government's decision to hold someone as a military prisoner and bypass the criminal-justice system with its checks and balances.

Administration officials defend the Hamdi and Padilla detentions, saying the prisoners are potential sources of valuable intelligence and that such detainees have no legal rights because Mr. Bush has designated them "enemy combatants."

Critics counter that US citizens being detained must be afforded the right to file a habeas petition to force the government to prove the legality of their imprisonment. The only exception, these critics say, would be if Congress acted to suspend the habeas right during a time of national emergency. No such suspension has been authorized, they say.

"There is no necessity to keep Padilla and Hamdi in a military prison without charges," says Donald Rehkopf Jr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Case Tests Limits of Holding Citizens in Military Prison
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.