Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Detainees, Dismisses Padilla Case

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by NATO AIR, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    looks like a victory for the constitution, time for the gov't to prove these guys are guilty (which if it has the intelligence and the proof, it can do and i hope it does)

    my mistake, i mean the supreme court SIDESTEPS, not dismisses the padilla case

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5316401/

    Court: Terror suspects can challenge detentions
    Guantanamo Bay ruling is blow to administration's war on terror

    An inmate of Camp X-Ray at the U.S. Navy Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is escorted by two guards past other inmates in a March 15, 2002 file photo.

    BREAKING NEWS
    MSNBC staff and news service reports

    Updated: 10:51 a.m. ET June 28, 2004WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that prisoners seized as potential terrorists and held for more than two years at a U.S. military prison camp in Cuba may challenge their captivity in American courts, a major defeat for President Bush in one of the first major high court cases arising from the Sept. 11 attacks.



    In related cases, the court ruled that an American citizen suspected of aiding the enemy can go to court to challenge his indefinite detention as an “enemy combatant” but declined to rule in a similar case involving an American suspected in a terrorist plot.

    The 6-to-3 ruling in the Guantanamo case passed no judgment on the guilt or innocence of the approximately 600 foreign-born men held in the Navy-run prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The justices also did not address the broad issues of human rights and civil liberties surrounding the prisoners' seizure and detention without trial or guaranteed access to a lawyer.

    Prisoners expected to appeal to federal court
    For now, the high court said only that the men can take the first legal step in contesting U.S. authority to hold them.

    The men can now presumably take their complaints to a U.S. federal judge, even though they are physically held beyond U.S. borders.

    The court also ruled that while the administration has the power to detain Yaser Esam Hamdi, a U.S. citizen suspected of aiding the enemy, without charges or trial, but that he has the right to challenge his treatment in court.

    Separately, the justices dismissed a case involving American terror suspect Jose Padilla on a technicality and sent it back to a lower court.


    Bush administration lawyers contend that Padilla, a former Chicago gang member, was an al-Qaida operative who was planning a radiological "dirty bomb" attack in the United States at the time of his arrest two years ago as he returened to the United States from Afghanistan.

    The Hamdi ruling did not fully address many hard questions raised by the case. Hamdi has been detained more than two years and only recentrly allowed to see a lawyer. His parents are Saudis and he was born in the United States.

    The administration had fought any suggestion that Hamdi or another U.S.-born terrorism suspect, Jose Padilla, could go to court, saying a legal fight was a threat to the president's power to wage war as he sees fit.

    "We have no reason to doubt that courts faced with these sensitive matters will pay proper heed both to the matters of national security that might arise in an individual case and to the constitutional limitations safeguarding essential liberties that remain vibrant even in times of security concerns," Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for the court.

    O'Connor said that Hamdi "unquestionably has the right to access to counsel."

    The court threw out a lower court ruling that supported the government's position fully, and Hamdi's case now returns to a lower court.

    The careful opinion seemed deferential to the White House, but did not give the president everything he wanted.

    The government says Hamdi was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan, where he was fighting alongside Taliban forces against U.S.-led coalition troops.

    The ruling is the largest test so far of executive power in the post-Sept. 11 assault on terrorism.

    MSNBC.com's Tom Curry and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
     
  2. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    interesting bias note, if you compare CNN's to MSNBC, CNN doesn't say anything like "blow to administration's war on terror"


    http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/06/28/scotus.enemy.combatants.ap/index.html

    A mixed verdict on the terror war
    Rulings offer partial wins for White House, civil rights activists
    Monday, June 28, 2004 Posted: 11:23 AM EDT (1523 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court delivered a mixed verdict Monday on the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policies, ruling that the U.S. government has the power to hold American citizens and foreign nationals without charges or trial, but that detainees can challenge their treatment in U.S. courts.

    The administration had sought a more clear-cut endorsement of its policies than it got. The White House had claimed broad authority to seize and hold potential terrorists or their protectors for as long as the president saw fit - and without interference from judges or lawyers.

    In both cases, the ruling was 6-3, although the lineup of justices was different in the two decisions.

    Ruling in the case of American-born detainee Yaser Esam Hamdi, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said the court has "made clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens."

    Congress did give the president authority to hold Hamdi, a four-justice plurality of the court said, but that does not cancel out the basic right to a day in court.

    The court ruled similarly in the case of about 600 men born outside the United States and held indefinitely at a U.S. Navy prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The men can use American courts to contest their captivity and treatment, the high court said.

    The Supreme Court sidestepped a third major terrorism case, ruling that a lawsuit filed on behalf of detainee Jose Padilla improperly named Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld instead of the much lower-level military officer in charge of the Navy brig in South Carolina where Padilla has been held for more than two years.

    Padilla must refile a lawsuit challenging his detention in a lower court.

    Steven R. Shapiro, legal director of the ACLU, called the rulings "a strong repudiation of the administration's argument that its actions in the war on terrorism are beyond the rule of law and unreviewable by American courts."

    The administration had fought any suggestion that Hamdi or another U.S.-born terrorism suspect could go to court, saying that such a legal fight posed a threat to the president's power to wage war as he sees fit.

    "We have no reason to doubt that courts, faced with these sensitive matters, will pay proper heed both to the matters of national security that might arise in an individual case and to the constitutional limitations safeguarding essential liberties that remain vibrant even in times of security concerns," Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for the court.

    O'Connor said that Hamdi "unquestionably has the right to access to counsel."

    The court threw out a lower court ruling that supported the government's position fully, and Hamdi's case now returns to a lower court.

    The careful opinion seemed deferential to the White House, but did not give the president everything he wanted.

    The ruling is the largest test so far of executive power in the post-September 11 assault on terrorism.

    O'Connor said the court has "made clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens."

    She was joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy in her view that Congress had authorized detentions such as Hamdi's in what she called very limited circumstances,

    Congress voted shortly after the September 11 attacks to give the president significant authority to pursue terrorists, but Hamdi's lawyers said that authority did not extend to the indefinite detention of an American citizen without charges or trial.

    Two other justices, David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, would have gone further and declared Hamdi's detention improper. Still, they joined O'Connor and the others to say that Hamdi, and by extension others who may be in his position, are entitled to their day in court.

    Hamdi and Padilla are in military custody at a Navy brig in South Carolina. They have been interrogated repeatedly without lawyers present.

    The Bush administration contends that as "enemy combatants," the men are not entitled to the usual rights of prisoners of war set out in the Geneva Conventions. Enemy combatants are also outside the constitutional protections for ordinary criminal suspects, the government has claimed.

    The administration argued that the president alone has authority to order their detention, and that courts have no business second-guessing that decision.

    The case has additional resonance because of recent revelations that U.S. soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners and used harsh interrogation methods at a prison outside Baghdad. For some critics of the administration's security measures, the pictures of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison illustrated what might go wrong if the military and White House have unchecked authority over prisoners.

    At oral arguments in the Padilla case in April, an administration lawyer assured the court that Americans abide by international treaties against torture, and that the president or the military would not allow even mild torture as a means to get information.

    The cases are: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (03-6696) and Rumsfeld v. Padilla (03-1027).
     
  3. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I fully support the right of any American citizen, regardless of whether they are terrorists or traitors (or both) to the same legal rights that any other citizen enjoys. American citizens should not be held indefinitely at Gitmo without trial or access to legal counsel.
     
  4. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    I hope I'm not predicting the future:


    "Dateline, WA DC,
    1 year from now"


    Terrorists today blew up the Capital building, with a radiological bomb. The leader of the group was one "Shav-yur Bush" - who was released 6 months ago from Guantanimo, under a court ruling. This fiasco is the fault of GWB's policy of letting suspected terrorists go"


    :(
     
  5. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    I agree but yet I don't. Such a dilemma.

    Here is my thought on the subject.

    During the Revolutionary War we implemented a law that is still on our books today. It was death for treason, subversion, espionage, etc. The sentence was death and it was generally carried out very swiftly. Why? Because that way there was no time for "doubt" to creep into the minds of the nation. Doubt creates subversion and when people are plotting against our country, we have no time to f*ck around feeling their pain. If they get caught and the circumstances are evident enough, f*ck the trial and dispatch them quickly so as to send a message.

    That is why the sentence was usually carried out swiftly.
     
  6. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I agree that the death penalty is a proper sentence for those convicted of treason. But I still support the legal rights of an American citizen to a speedy trial and to legal access, a trial by jury of one's peers, and conviction of treason as defined in the Constitution. THEN we can fry the son of a bitch.
     
  7. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    During war, treason is generally convicted by the military. Therefore, it is not a trial by one's peers. If an American citizen is found on fighting against American troops, then in my opinion he should be shot on the spot for treason. That is what would have happened at any other time in history. It is just that today we want to let the courts get involved instead of metting out justice as it was meant to be done.
     
  8. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    i agree with gop_jeff...

    and this is what makes us different, a cut above the rest

    this is why our gov't is the best, our rules are the best, our constitution carries so much weight around the world and in history, both in the past and in the future
     
  9. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    If he's caught in the act, I could see shooting someone on the spot. If the person is in the military, I certainly understand using military courts, or a court martial (which is still a trial by jury, just with different rules). With someone like Padilla or Hamdi... certainly some sticky legal questions. Are they part of a terrorist organization? Are they civilians or enemy soldiers? Or terrorists? Regardless, I think it is clearly against the Bill of Rights to hold someone indefinitely without trial. Either try him in civilian court, or, if the security implications are too great, a military tribunal. But holding a U.S. citizen indefinitely, terrorist or not, flies in the face of the Bill of Rights.
     
  10. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    Any citizen can be convicted of treason. On the battlefield, it is the battlefield commanders decision whether to carry out the sentence or not. Actually, if a US citizen is caugth fighting against the US on the battlefield, a field grade officer can convict and sentence him under treason laws. Treason laws do not just apply to the military.

    Padilla was caught trying to carry out an attack against the US. He should have been hung immediately. The more you let stuff like this set, the more the cancer festers.
     

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