Wednesday, June 18, 2008


My latest FindLaw column explains the disagreement between the majority and dissent in Boumediene as partly a conflict between (1) checks and balances (maj); and (2) separation of powers (dis). If that shorthand is not sufficient to explain what I mean, please read the column. Here I want to raise an issue that was called to my attention by attorney and writer Doug Parker (who, among other things, has an excellent article on Justice Kennedy forthcoming in The Green Bag). In an email to me, Doug notes that Justice Kennedy's opinion in Boumediene states: "Some of [the petitioners] were apprehended on the battlefield in Afghanistan, others in places as far away from there as Bosnia and Gambia." The opinion goes on to treat all the petitioners the same.

As Doug says, and I agree, it is hardly self-evident that battlefield captives (i.e., people taken captive on a battlefield) should be entitled to the same procedural protections as people that the U.S. and its allies have essentially arrested or abducted. In wartime, non-combatants occasionally find themselves in active theaters of war, but we can assume that most of the people apprehended on the battlefield are in fact enemy combatants. By contrast, people scooped up from civilian life have a prima facie right to liberty. To permit them to be held without access to a civilian court (via habeas corpus or an adequate substitute) would put liberty at enormous risk.

Although equal treatment for battlefield captives and other war-on-terror detainees is not inevitable, I want to offer a tentative defense of Justice Kennedy's treatment of them as such. Traditionally, prisoners of war have not been granted access to civilian courts--and given the possibility of detaining tens of thousands of POWs in a conventional war, with good reason. But POWs have protections that the Bush Administration has denied to the Gitmo detainees, and so it is fair to make the Administration pay the price: If you want to invoke the traditional exemption from civilian court scrutiny for POWs, treat your captives as POWs.

The best objection to this approach would note that terrorism suspects should not be classified as either POWs or conventional criminals; they occupy an intermediate status for which civilian courts are not the appropriate vehicle. I think there is something to this argument but it's worth noting that neither Congress nor President Bush has developed it in a coherent way: They have treated these suspects within the war paradigm, but simply as "unlawful" combatants. Ex Parte Quirin (the Nazi saboteur case) provides a place for the unlawful combatant category within U.S. law, but it is still an awkward fit for non-battlefield terrorism suspects. Accordingly, perhaps the best reading of Boumediene (and of Hamdi, Rasul and Hamdan as well) is that the Supreme Court is telling Congress and the President: If you want to create a new paradigm, we might consider how it fits within our constitutional system, but if you use the war paradigm, obey the rules we have.

Posted by Mike Dorf


egarber said...

In one of Linda Greehnhouse's articles about the ruling, I think she mentioned that the majority didn't want its opinion to be read to apply in a battlefield setting -- i.e., this was only about Gitmo and its unique circumstance.

I still haven't been able to read the whole thing, so can somebody answer this below?

Did the majority specifically say as much, that it shouldn't be read to imply that people captured in Afghanistan instantly have a habeas right in U.S. courts?

egarber said...

Greenhouse, I mean. I have spelling issues :)

Michael C. Dorf said...

yes, that's right. the majority says there's no right to habeas at the battlefield immediately after capture. but my point was that the majority's opinion expressly does apply to people taken from a battlefield to Gitmo.

egarber said...

Yep, I understand -- I was just looking for broader clarification.

Last night, my wife and I were watching some awful MSNBC show about Obama's defense of the ruling (Man, I'm gonna miss Russert).

We concluded that maybe the best way to summarize the ruling is as follows:

The Court had to draw a line. As defined by our leaders, the "war on terror" carries no geographic or time limits, so without a firm defense of habeas, presidents will continue to pluck foreigners out of society anywhere across the globe, stamp him an "enemy combatant", and potentially put him away for ever.

There will be tough calls -- such as here, where a prisoner who is captured on a battlefield is so far removed in space and time that he deserves a hearing. But as Mike describes it in his findlaw piece, to me it's accurate to say there's no reason to think that Kennedy's "functional" approach will lead to battlefield interference. In fact, the majority said as much (this was the clarity I was looking for).

As an aside, the MSNBC host said that Obama should refrain from saying "habeas" -- that's too confusing for voters. Instead, he should say "due process". But if Barack uses the latter term, it opens him up to the very implication he was trying to avoid in the first place yesterday: that he favors giving these prisoners full trial rights in the U.S.

Is it really too much for Americans to at least briefly educate themselves on habeas corpus? If this show host was right, and that word sounds too foreign to mean anything, then that's a pretty sad commentary.

Sobek said...

Pardon what is now becoming my habit of going off-topic, but there aren't many Obama posts, so my options are limited. I would just like to say that I'm somewhat reassured about Obama's recent statement to AIPAC that he wants an undivided Jerusalem (followed up less than twenty-four hours later with a retraction after pressure by Palestinian groups).

According to foreign policy advisor Daniel Kurtzer, he's not a duplicitous panderer who caved to pressure faster than Michael Moore caves in to the last Hostess Cupcake in the box -- he's just too friggin stupid to realize that the word "undivided" means something specific when referring to Israel. I feel much better now.

Yes, people make mistakes when speaking. I can barely keep my own kids' names straight. But this was a major, prepared speech to a critical voting block by a guy who wants to lead the free world.

Incidentally, if Obama can't stand up to his own base here in America for more than a full day, how does he expect to stand up to Iran and North Korea? I guess when your advisors learned everything they need to know about conflict resolution from Winnie the Pooh...

Back on topic: Omar Khadr just filed a petition complaining that he was never read his rights, after throwing a grenade that blew up an American soldier in Afghanistan. What "rights" might that include? Thanks to SCOTUS, no one really has any idea.

Mortimer Brezny said...

but my point was that the majority's opinion expressly does apply to people taken from a battlefield to Gitmo.

Thanks for this. One of the few honest assessments of the issues in the majority and dissents.

Anonymous said...

免費A片, ut聊天室, AV女優, 美女視訊, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇, 情色交友, 免費AV, 線上a片, 日本美女寫真集, 同志聊天室, 聊天室交友, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, A片,H漫, 18成人, a漫, av dvd, 一夜情聊天室, 微風成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, 成人, 中部人聊天室, 080中部人聊天室, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 成人電影, A片, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 成人遊戲, 成人影城, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 成人網站, 麗的色遊戲, 色情網站, 成人論壇, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 自拍, 癡漢, , 俱樂部, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊交友90739 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室 免費視訊聊天室 視訊聊天 視訊交友 美女視訊 視訊美女 視訊 免費視訊 免費視訊聊天 視訊聊天室 辣妹視訊 一夜情 色情a片 aio交友愛情館 情色電影 情色視訊 色情遊戲 色情 情色小說 一葉情貼圖片區 色情小說 色情聊天室 情色交友 成人論壇 成人網站 色情網站 情色論壇 小高聊天室 女同志聊天室 6K聊天室 080苗栗人聊天室 080聊天室 聊天室尋夢園 UT男同志聊天室 男同志聊天室 尋夢園聊天室 UT聊天室 聊天室 豆豆聊天室 A片 成人電影 成人貼圖 嘟嘟成人網 美女交友 本土自拍 成人交友 成人影片

Anonymous said...

野球・バッティング・上達野球・バッティング・講座野球・バッティング・練習野球・打撃・フォーム野球・練習・ネット野球・練習法野球・練習・方法野球・練習・メニュー野球・練習方法・バッティング野球・練習・バッティング野球・素振り・バット野球・教本野球・スイング野球・スイング・基本野球・スイング・フォーム野球・スイング・動画野球・スイング・写真野球・スイング・軌道野球・レベルスイング野球・アッパースイング野球・バッティング・フォームバッティング・理論バッティング・練習バッティング・フォームバッティングとはバッティング・コツバッティング・基本バッティング・指導バッティング・練習・通販バッティング・講座バッティング・上達バッティング・フォーム・連続写真打撃・理論打撃・練習打撃・フォーム・動画打撃・上達素振りの仕方ダウンスイング・野球アッパースイング 矯正スイングスピード 野球少年野球 指導少年野球 練習方法少年野球 バッティング 指導少年野球 コーチ中学 野球 練習ホームランバッターになる方法小学生 野球 トレーニング子供 野球 指導中学 野球 指導小学生 野球 指導学童野球 練習方法野球 指導 DVD野球 指導 動画高校野球 強打者年金                       Jメールテクニック
メール恋愛術メール口説き方メール口説くメール女友達メール誘いメール誘い方愛情表現メール恋愛メールテクニック携帯メールテクニックケータイ メルテク恋愛メール術ケータイメール術携帯メール術恋メール術もてるメール術モテメール術脈ありメール恋愛脈ありメール脈あり脈なしメール女脈ありメールもてる方法モテル方法モテる方法モテル男モテる男条件モテる男の髪型モテる男のファッション恋愛モテる男もてる男もてる男の条件もてる男の性格もてる男の要素もてる男のファッションもてる秘訣モテる秘訣モテる話術もてる話術もてたいモテたいもてるしぐさ・心理恋愛指南書恋愛ツール恋愛の秘訣恋愛のきっかけ恋愛成就恋愛運恋愛運アップ恋愛運up恋愛誘い方恋愛付き合うきっかけ恋愛 付き合うまでの期間恋愛 付き合うまで会話術 恋愛コールドリーディング 恋愛女の本音 恋愛

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to get some last chaos gold and the lastchaos gold is given by my close friend who tells me that the lastchaos money is the basis to enter into the game. Therefore, I should buy last chaos gold with the spare money and I gain some cheap lastchaos gold from other players.

Anonymous said... .
[url=]puma shoes[/url]
[url=]chaussures puma[/url]
[url=]nike air max ltd[/url]

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your useful info, I think it’s a good topic. So would you like the info about the Air jordan shoes
jordan shoes
Christian Louboutin
Bose headphones
Tiffany Jewelry
ugg Gypsy
wholesale electronics
Michael jordan shoes

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...