Tag Archives: Habeas corpus

Indefinite Detention, and Our Unlikely Ally in the Fight

At the close of the last year, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012, which includes language that commentators claim, not unfairly, would permit the indefinite detention of even American citizens by a willing administration. The operative sections permit “detention under the law of war without trial until the end […]

The Routinization of Error in Criminal Appeals

(This is an observation from a very talented appellate litigator at my firm. So as a matter of professional integrity, I can’t claim credit, but for reasons of anonymity, nor can I name her.) I’ve had the privilege of working on more than a few criminal appeals in my very short time in practice, and […]

Disappointment on Detention: Reviewing President Obama’s Latest Executive Order

There’s a lot to dislike in President Obama’s latest executive order, continuing detention at Guantanamo Bay, and permitting military tribunals to resume for some (as of yet undisclosed) subset of individuals. But let’s keep two things in mind. First, if we’re looking for someone to blame, the target remains Republicans, who’ve blocked any attempt to […]

The Price of Freedom

Eric Holder, on the briefs in Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426 (2004), arguing for a detainee’s right to at least hear the case against him, by means of a writ of habeas corpus, before being thrown in to a legal black hole: [We] recognize that these limitations might impede the investigation of a terrorist […]

Ignore NRO: No Easy Answer on Executive Detention

A recent letter from Attorney General Ben Holder to Senator McConnell (R-KY) (pdf) confronts, head on, Republican allegations that the civilization system is inappropriate for trying putative terrorists. Holder characterizes the debate as follows: The decision to charge Mr. Abdulmutallab in federal court, and the methods used to interrogate him, are fully consistent with the […]

Breaking? Senate May Vote to Block KSM/Manhattan Trial

Over the past few days, an increasing number of New York politicians, to everyone’s shame, have followed Governor Paterson’s cowardly example and called for President Obama to select another site — or a non-Article III court — for the trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM). I’ll cut some slack to Mayor Bloomberg […]

The Strange, Ill-Informed Cowardice of Phyllis Schlafly

Apparently you all didn’t find the special congressional race in upstate New York — or its would-be recount, and the potential fallout for New York’s new voting systems — all that interesting. For shame! That stuff was cool. Anyways, in partial atonement for my sins, this commentary on Phyllis Schlafly’s latest insanity (h/t Pi).  – […]

This Week in Tyranny

Over the past week, a few videos have come out, purporting to show the “indoctrination” of children into Obama’s “personality cult,” along with the slow slide into tyranny that inevitably follows. This, of course, is the latest in the GOP’s brilliant strategy of freaking out over their own shadow. It’d be funny, if it weren’t […]

A Citizen’s Guide to the War on Terror: Habeas & Bagram Airbase

Bear with me. Liberal outlets like Salon — which I’m normally a big fan of — are ever so slightly losing their $&!% over Bagram Airbase, an outpost in Afghanistan currently filling at least part of the role formerly occupied by Guantanamo Bay. This is probably understandable — Obama’s defense of his administration’s ability to […]

AEDPA & Troy Davis: The Death Penalty, Actual Innocence, and Federal Deference

There are few political footballs that’ve been kicked around more, and with greater reprecussions, than the writ of habeas corpus. The “great writ,” of course, traces its origin to the Magna Carta — “no free man shall be taken, imprisoned … or any other wise destroyed … but by lawful judgment of his Peers” — […]