Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the War on Terror

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Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the War on Terror
POL 201American National Government

Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the War on Terror
Throughout history, the motivation of man's self interest has concluded in the domination of those with little or no power in the absence of the rule of law. The war on terror presents an unpredictable challenge for the United States whereas terrorists are apprehended and deprived of due process. The right of Habeas corpus overrules man's interpretation, in which allows those accused federal and state court representation before judge, or jury. It asserts that accusers deemed innocent until proven guilty, accusers possessed the right to representation, appear in person, and charges brought forth. This essay will concentrate on the evolution of habeas corpus, and its suspension by the United States, its relevance during the war on terror, and the United States Supreme Court's interpretation. Nevertheless, these laws are in place to protect every one, moreover to avoid unlawful apprehension, and ensure that habeas corpus works as intended by the Constitution.

The historical evolution of habeas corpus born from the Magna Carta, known as the English Bill of Rights began in England in the early 1200s. Under force from English barons, King John of England placed his signature on the Magna Carta in 1215, in which comprised of a list of human rights and civil liberties. It asserted that the King needed consent from his legislative body to impose taxes upon its citizens. Halliday (2011) notes that habeas corpus serves as a writ and a scrabble parchment that a judge ordered a jailer to bring forth a named prisoner to court to face said written charges. This very important document additionally established that trial and due process of law must occur previous to confiscating property or freedom from any free man who resided in England. Instead of King John stepping down from power he agreed to place boundaries on the power of the monarchy, sign the Magna Carta, wherein honored the constitutional rights and privileges of his countrymen.

This document serves as a treaty of union, and agreement with the King wherein guaranteed and respected the civil liberties (personal freedoms) (Levin-Waldman, 2012) of its citizens. Only in the presence of rule of law prohibits countrymen from depriving countrymen of basic human rights. Politicians, and citizens augur that this act occurred in America when the national Defense authorization act (NDAA) passed in 2011. Opponents suggests that this bill proves unconstitutional for the reason that it strips away habeas corpus, thus allowing the detainment of American citizens suspected of terrorist activity for an indefinite period devoid of a trial. Other politicians, and citizens consider this act stands as a breach of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1876 in which forbid the Army's participation in domestic lawful assembly on American soil.

The suspension of habeas corpus number in the few for good reason, and presidents, politicians, and Supreme Court justices auger whether or not the Constitution offer provisions to commit such an act. However, the rights of habeas corpus denied by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 during the American Civil War, and in 2006 by President George Bush fighting the war on terror. The reasons for the suspension of habeas corpus by Lincoln and Bush were worlds apart as explained by Foner, (n.d.). Foner notes that Lincoln were perhaps on the threshold of losing a nation; whereas, Bush believe it essential to detain prisoners of war without due process of law after the attacks by terrorists on September 11, 2001.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 signed into law by President Bush gave unlimited authority toward establishing a military commission. On the other hand, Lincoln deemed it vital to protect a stretch of land from Baltimore to Washington DC. This railroad line involved transportation, troop...
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