Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
Yaser Esam Hamdi, an American citizen, was captured in Afghanistan shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Hamdi was classified as an “enemy combatant” by the United States. His father filed a petition of Habeas Corpus that his fifth and fourteenth amendments were in violation. Although the petition did not specify on the actual circumstances of Hamdi’s capture and detention, the record indicated that Hamdi went to Afghanistan to do “relief work” less than two months before September 11th and could have not received military training. The Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michael Mobbs, issued a response, outlining the Government’s position. The district court found the “Mobbs Declaration” insufficient in supporting the Government’s case. The Mobbs Declaration provided details regarding Hamdi’s trip to Afghanistan, his affiliation with the Taliban during a time when the Taliban was battling U.S. allies, and lastly his surrender of an assault rifle. The District Court found that the Mobbs Declaration, standing alone, did not support Hamdi’s detention and ordered the Government to turn over numerous materials. The Fourth Circuit reversed, stressing that it was undisputed that Hamdi was captured in an active combat zone, no factual inquiry or evidentiary hearing allowed Hamdi to be heard or to rebut the Government’s claims were necessary or proper. If the Mobbs Declaration was accurate, it provided a sufficient basis upon which to conclude that the President had constitutionally detained Hamdi, the court ordered the habeas petition dismissed. The appeals court held that, “no citizen shall be imprisoned or otherwise detained by the United States except pursuant to an Act of Congress”. This provides that The AUMF’s “necessary and appropriate force” language provided the authorization for Hamdi’s detention. Also that Hamdi is entitled only to a limited judicial inquiry into his detention’s rationality...
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