[Marxism] AP: U.S. Supreme Court Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Courts

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 12 08:45:37 MDT 2008

June 12, 2008
Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Courts

Filed at 10:18 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign
terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the
Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.

The justices handed the Bush administration its third setback at the
high court since 2004 over its treatment of prisoners who are being
held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.
The vote was 5-4, with the court's liberal justices in the majority.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, "The laws and
Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in
extraordinary times."

It was not immediately clear whether this ruling, unlike the first
two, would lead to prompt hearings for the detainees, some who have
been held more than 6 years. Roughly 270 men remain at the island
prison, classified as enemy combatants and held on suspicion of
terrorism or links to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

The administration opened the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay
shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to hold enemy
combatants, people suspected of ties to al-Qaida or the Taliban.

The Guantanamo prison has been harshly criticized at home and abroad
for the detentions themselves and the aggressive interrogations that
were conducted there.

The court said not only that the detainees have rights under the
Constitution, but that the system the administration has put in place
to classify them as enemy combatants and review those decisions is

The administration had argued first that the detainees have no
rights. But it also contended that the classification and review
process was a sufficient substitute for the civilian court hearings
that the detainees seek.

In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts criticized his colleagues for
striking down what he called "the most generous set of procedural
protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy

     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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