Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court [Updated July 25, 2007]   [open pdf - 269KB]

From the Summary: "After the U.S. Supreme Court held that U.S. courts have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to hear legal challenges on behalf of persons detained at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in connection with the war against terrorism (Rasul v. Bush), the Pentagon established administrative hearings, called 'Combatant Status Review Tribunals' (CSRTs), to allow the detainees to contest their status as enemy combatants, and informed them of their right to pursue relief in federal court by seeking a writ of habeas corpus. […] In December 2005, Congress stepped into the fray, passing the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (DTA) to require uniform standards for interrogation of persons in the custody of the Department of Defense, and expressly to ban cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of detainees in the custody of any U.S. agency anywhere overseas. […] In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court rejected the view that the DTA left it without jurisdiction to review a habeas challenge to the validity of military commissions established by President Bush to try suspected terrorists. […] The Court's decision led the 109th Congress to enact the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) (P.L. 109-366) to authorize the President to convene military commissions and to amend the DTA to further reduce access to federal courts by 'alien enemy combatants,' wherever held, by eliminating pending and future causes of action other than the limited review of military proceedings permitted under the DTA."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33180
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