Friday, April 27, 2007

Restore Habeas Corpus. No. 458.

Restore Habeas Corpus

In its waning days, the last Congress passed the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006. Among many ill-considered and dangerous provisions, the MCA revoked the right to habeas corpus for anyone detained at Guantanamo Bay, as well as for any foreigner the government detains anywhere and labels an “enemy combatant,” including legal residents of the U.S.

Why must habeas corpus be restored?

The Founders of our nation considered habeas corpus the most fundamental of rights because it insured that the executive branch could not hold people without cause. A vast majority of the detainees at Guantanamo are there by mistake, guilty only of being sold to the U.S. for a bounty. When our government revokes the right to habeas corpus it shows other governments they can do the same and puts U.S. citizens traveling and working abroad at risk. If we do not defend the detainees’ right to habeas corpus, and the rights of our neighbors, family and friends who are not yet citizens, we all lose.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 is a massive legislative assault on our fundamental rights, including the right to habeas corpus – the right to challenge one’s detention in a court of law. The MCA contains sweeping provisions that serve to shelter Bush administration officials from the legal consequences of their actions while stripping away the fundamental rights of those held in U.S. custody.

A project of the Center for Constitutional Rights. (CCR) is a non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.CCR uses litigation proactively to advance the law in a positive direction, to empower poor communities and communities of color, to guarantee the rights of those with the fewest protections and least access to legal resources, to train the next generation of constitutional and human rights attorneys, and to strengthen the broader movement for constitutional and human rights.

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