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Hearing Testimony on Habeas Corpus and Detentions

Jonathan Hafetz explains why restoring habeas is essential to regaining the legitimacy and moral credibility necessary to build an effective counter-terrorism policy.

Published: June 26, 2007
In his testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommitte on the Constitution, Civl Rights, and Civil Liberties, Jonathan Hafetz addresses the Bush Administration’s threat to habeas corpus at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station.  He divides his discussion into five parts.  First, he recalls the historical importance of habeas corpus and its function in the Constitution.  Second, he outlines the continuing infringement of habeas corpus rights of Guantánamo detainees despite two Supreme Court decisions reinforcing the importance of habeas review.  Third, Mr. Hafetz’s testimony holds Guantánamo as an example of how habeas corpus ensures that the United States follows correct detainment procedure.  Fourth, he argues that restoring the legitimacy of habeas corpus will aid the development of an effective counterterrorism policy.  And lastly, Mr. Hafetz’s report highlights the shortcomings of Administration’s reasoning against providing habeas for Guantánamo detainees, and why the environment of a “Global War on Terrorism” makes such review all the more crucial.

Jonathan Hafetz is the Litigation Director of the Liberty and National Security Project  at the Brennan Center.  LNS aims to forward the development of a national security policy that respects individual rights and the statutes of the Constitution.  Mr. Hafetz lectures and writes extensively on the issue of national security, and his writing has appeared in numerous academic journals as well as publications including American Prospect, The Nation, Findlaw, Jurist, the National Law Journal, Balkinization, Huffington Post, and the New York Law Journal.