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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Judge Considers U.S. Constitution’s Application at Guantanamo

Oct 23rd, 2012 Military tribunals

A recent Reuters article calls into question the authority of the U.S. Constitution as applied to matters at Guantanamo Bay, noting that the forum was chosen as a military prison primarily because it would put detainees outside the reach of U.S. law.

The article further reminds readers of the 2008 Supreme Court decision (Boumediene v. Bush/Al Odah v. United States) which held that Guantanamo prisoners, including non-U.S. citizens, are entitled to certain constitutional rights, such as habeas corpus rights to challenge their detention and the right to require the government to show evidence supporting their detention. According to Reuters, however, the Court did not determine whether other constitutional rights apply to detainees at Guantanamo.

As Reuters reports, this issue has resurfaced in the case of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four fellow captives as defense attorneys have issued advisory opinions arguing that the Constitution applies to Guantanamo cases, except where recognition of a constitutional right would be “impractical and anomalous.” Reuters goes on to state:

Prosecutor Clay Trivett said that when Congress enacted the law underpinning the Guantanamo tribunals, it clearly did not intend for defendants to have all the rights they would have had if they were tried in the U.S. federal courts.

You can read the full article here.

You can read the Center for Constitutional Rights’ overview of the Boumediene v. Bush/Al Odah v. United States decisions here.

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