For Immediate Release
June 29, 2007
Susan Lehman, 212–998–6318
Mike Webb, 212–998–6746
Jonathan Hafetz, 212–998–6289
Supreme Court Agrees to Rehear Guantanamo Detainees’ Habeas Challenge
Today, the Supreme Court agreed to review a Circuit Court decision that upheld the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), which eliminated habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. In April the Court originally denied review of the appeals court’s 2–1 decision, finding that the MCA validly stripped Guantanamo detainees of habeas corpus because they have no constitutional rights. However, the Supreme Court reversed course today, granting the detainees’ motion to reconsider that decision and grant review.
Jonathan Hafetz, the Director of Litigation for the Liberty and National Security Project at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, released the following statement about this ruling:
“This is an important decision recognizing the fundamental importance of an issue that defines America’s commitment to human rights and Constitutional values.
“Habeas corpus has been a cornerstone of America’s government since the nation’s founding. The Supreme Court should now conclude that Congress overstepped its bounds by eliminating this vital right for detainees at Guantanamo in an effort to maintain a prison outside the law.
“We believe restoring habeas is essential to regaining the legitimacy and moral credibility necessary to build an effective counter-terrorism strategy.”
Jonathan Hafetz will be involved with the legal team that presents this case to the Supreme Court in the Fall, and he is the author of “10 Things You Should Know About Habeas Corpus.” Please contact the Brennan Center if you would like to arrange an interview with Mr. Hafetz.