March 18, 1990
The indispensability of an independent federal judiciary was demonstrated once again last week, when the Judicial Conference of the United States rejected a proposal supported by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist that further restrictions be placed on the ability of prisoners under sentence of death to file petitions of habeas corpus in U.S. courts.
December 24, 2006
Re "Return to the rule of law," editorial, Dec. 18 Your editorial supported the restoration of the writ of habeas corpus to enemy combatants. No one can restore something that never existed in the first place. At no point in our history has the privilege of habeas corpus been extended to enemy combatants, whether they were from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Haiti, Panama, Grenada, Vietnam, Korea, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Britain or even South Carolina. Our soldiers gave their lives for the freedom of Americans, not America's enemies.
February 5, 2012 |
In January, while conservative Christians and GOP presidential candidates were charging that "elites" have launched "a war against religion," a federal court in Rhode Island ordered a public school to remove a prayer mounted on a wall because it imposed a belief on 16-year-old Jessica Ahlquist. The ruling seems particularly fitting because it was consistent not only with the 1st Amendment but with the intent of Roger Williams, who founded Rhode Island expressly to provide religious liberty and who called such forced exposure to prayer "spiritual rape.
October 2, 2006
Re "Legal Battle Over Detainee Bill Is Likely," Sept. 29 This is one of the darkest days in the United States in my lifetime. It is shocking that 51 senators voted to give up the writ of habeas corpus. That's taking a 790-year step backward in civil rights. Conservatives claim to be strict constructionists, but only when it suits their purposes -- so it's all right to invade another country without a declaration of war, and it's all right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus even when we aren't being invaded and there is no rebellion.
July 4, 2004
Re: "A Near Miss for Key Rights," Commentary, June 29: Perhaps the most important part of Jonathan Turley's Op-Ed article is his statement concerning habeas corpus for prisoners: "That this right was even at question is an example of a system at risk." Habeas corpus has been a fundamental right of all humans in Anglo-Saxon society for hundreds of years. Government cannot imprison or detain people (citizens or noncitizens) indefinitely without charges and an opportunity to contest those charges.
June 13, 2008 |
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected for the third time President Bush's policy of holding foreign prisoners under exclusive control of the military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ruling that the men have a right to seek their freedom before a federal judge. The justices said the Constitution from the beginning enshrined the "privilege of habeas corpus" -- or the right to go before a judge -- as one of the safeguards of liberty. And that right extends even to foreigners captured in the war on terrorism, the high court said, particularly when they have been held for as long as six years without charges.
June 16, 2008
Re "Constitution applies to detainees, justices say," June 13 The Supreme Court ruling on the right to habeas corpus is a victory for the Constitution and our free republic. The Great Writ dates back to the Magna Carta and is a foundation of liberty. The victory belongs not to detainees but to we the people of the United States. The constitutional framework of checks and balances proved its power, if only by five precious votes. Catherine G. Burke San Gabriel -- Your editorial states that the Bush administration has evaded offering the protections of habeas corpus under the Constitution when dealing with suspected terrorists.
April 2, 2007
'GUANTANAMO," IN popular parlance, refers both to the U.S. military prison on land leased from Cuba and the legal process (such as it is) made available to the 395 suspected terrorists and collaborators imprisoned there. In both senses, Guantanamo is an embarrassment to the United States. President Bush, who once suggested that he wanted to close Guantanamo, shows no signs of doing so anytime soon, though Secretary of Defense Robert M.
August 16, 2007 |
Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales is about to adopt an unnecessary and mean-spirited regulation that will make it harder for those on death row to have their cases reviewed in federal court. State Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown should make clear that California wants no part of this. To understand what's going on here, you need a little background. Let's say you were convicted of murder in California.
December 6, 1991 |
In a ruling that could make it easier to obtain convictions in child abuse cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that California prosecutors may use evidence that a child had been "battered" in the past to convict her parents of murder. The 6-2 ruling, issued Wednesday, reinstates the murder conviction of a Hayward man whose 6-month-old daughter died shortly after being brought to a hospital in 1981.