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 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.
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.
September 23, 2009
For those who followed the debate over the legal rights of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, it might seem like a case of deja vu. This time the question is whether about 600 detainees held by the United States at Bagram air base in Afghanistan can challenge their confinement in U.S. courts. Like the Bush administration with Guantanamo, the Obama administration is opposing such access. It is appealing a federal judge's ruling allowing three Bagram prisoners to seek writs of habeas corpus.