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December 18, 2003


Enemy Combatants as US Citizens

Good news for lovers of due process and those who feel Article II of the Constitution (executive powers) has been over-extended since 9/11: as is widely reported, a federal court of appeals has ruled that Jose Padilla cannot be detained as an enemy combatant: according to the court, the President does not have the power under Article II to detain as an enemy combatant an American citizen seized on American soil outside a zone of combat.

Here is the full text of the ruling. [pdf]

It's good that there's finally some judicial resistance to the imaginary concept of "enemy combatant" and its unfortunate application against US citizens. Coupled with the Supreme Court decision to consider whether some of the Guantanamo prisoners have the right to meet with lawyers, maybe some progress will be made in restoring the human rights and civil liberties that have been eroded in the last few years.

Update: Yes, something is happening. A second Gitmo detainee (a Yemeni) has been given access to a lawyer.

Another update: This topic is the lead story in the NYT today.

categories: War and Security
posted by adm at 12:45 PM | #


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