VICTORY! Justices, 5-4, Back Detainee Appeals for Guantánamo
From the New York Times comes the news of a landmark decision in the case of Boumediene v. Bush. The ruling does leave some issues unresolved, but nonetheless proclaims and reaffirms a foreign detainee's right to habeas corpus and finally strikes down that provision of the MCA as unconstitutional:
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered its third consecutive rebuff to the Bush administration’s handling of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay, ruling 5 to 4 that the prisoners there have a constitutional right to go to federal court to challenge their continued detention.
The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Guantánamo inmates could use the federal courts.
The court declared unconstitutional a provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that, at the administration’s behest, stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus petitions from the detainees seeking to challenge their designation as enemy combatants.
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said the truncated review procedure provided by a previous law, the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, “falls short of being a constitutionally adequate substitute” because it failed to offer “the fundamental procedural protections of habeas corpus.”