As most of you know by now, on Thursday, June 12, 2008, the US Supreme Court reached their decision in the case Boumediene v. Bush. The ruling of this case has caused much anger on the right and much rejoying on the left. As I always try to do, I made an initial opinion on this matter, but then I like to study it a little bit more. Between work, school, and family, this is the first chance that I’ve had to do an indepth study of the ruling and I wanted to post my thoughts on this case. Read it and let me know your thoughts.
I believe that the best place to begin a study of the Court decision is the decision itself. You can read about it online at SurpremeCourtUS.gov. Since studying this case in more detail, I must agree with my original oppinion. I agree with the Surpreme Court on this. I’ll give you guys a couple of quotes from the decision and then go into some commentary as to why I agree with it.
“Petitioners have the constitutional privilege of habeas corpus. They are
not barred from seeking the writ or invoking the Suspension
Clause’s protections because they have been designated as enemy
combatants or because of their presence at Guantanamo.” (pg 3).
“The Suspension Clause [Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2 of US Constutitution]
has full effect at Guantanamo. The Government’s argument that the
Clause affords petitioners no rights because the United States does not
claim sovereignty over the naval station is rejected.” (pg 4)
“Although the United States has maintained complete and
uninterrupted control of Guantanamo for over 100 years, the
Government’s view is that the Constitution has no effect there, at
least as to noncitizens, because the United States disclaimed
formal sovereignty in its 1903 lease with Cuba.
The Nation’s basic charter cannot be contracted away like this.
The Constitution grants Congress and the President the power to
acquire, dispose of, and govern territory, not the power to decide
when and where its terms apply.” (pg 5, emphasis added)
“In deciding the constitutional questions now presented we must determine
whether petitioners are barred fromseeking the writ or invoking the protections
of the Suspension Clause either because of their status, i.e., petitioners’designation
by the Executive Branch as enemy combatants, or their physical location,
i.e., their presence at Guantanamo Bay. The Government contends that
noncitizens designated as enemy combatantsand detained interritory
located outside our Nation’s borders have noconstitutional rights and
no privilege of habeas corpus.” (pg 16, emphasis added).
“The Framers viewed freedom from unlawful restraint as a fundamental
precept of liberty, and they understood the writ of habeas corpus as a vital
instrument to secure that freedom.” (pg 17)
I could go on and on, but I feel that this is enough quotes from the actual decision. I promised some commentary also. As I previously wrote, I believe that the Constitution of the United States of America was inspired by God. I believe that these framers were wise men who God used to establish this country. One of these founders wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” (US Declaration of Independence). If all men are created equal, then shouldn’t all be entitled to the protections of the Constitution, at least in as far as one is in their jurisdiction. I believe that the quote on page that says the Constitution does not grant “the power to decide when and where its [the Constitution] terms apply” says it best. I understand the arguments made by others, yet, I believe that we need to treat our prisons the same we want ours treated; that is with all the rights and privileges possible, for their protection. And, since some of these enemy combatants have been held, uncharged, for 5 years, I believe that something needed to be done. Less there be any confusion, I do not completely agree with the Majorities opinion, but, fundamentally, I believe that the correct decision was reached. Some may argue that the Constitution only protects the Citizens of the United States. If that is correct, then illegal immigrants would have no Constitutional rights. Clearly that is not the case. For a good article on that separate, but still related, subject read Do Illegal Aliens Have Constitutional Rights?by the Okaloosa County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office.
Perhaps I’ll post more in the future about this, but Mikey really wants me to play with him.