Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court [Updated April 6, 2007]   [open pdf - 236KB]

From the Summary: "After the U.S. Supreme Court held that U.S. courts have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. [United States Code] § 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'. Lawyers subsequently filed dozens of petitions on behalf of the detainees in the District Court for the District of Columbia, where district court judges reached inconsistent conclusions as to whether the detainees have any enforceable rights to challenge their treatment and detention. […] Although the Court has denied the petitioners certiorari ('Boumediene v. Bush'), it may eventually take up constitutional issues implicated by the MCA [Military Commissions Act of 2006], including whether it violates the Suspension Clause (U.S. Const. Art. 1, § 9, cl. 2), whether it amounts to an impermissible 'court-stripping' measure to deprive the judiciary of jurisdiction over matters of law entrusted to it by the Constitution, and whether such constitutionally sensitive issues can be avoided in light of the alternative procedures provided. Legislation to amend the MCA has been introduced (H.R. 267, S. 185, S. 576, H.R. 1415, H.R. 1416). This report will be updated as events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33180
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