Habeas Corpus is known as the Great Writ because it ensures that a person detained by the government is entitled to a judicial hearing to determine if there is any legal basis for their detention. The modern form of Habeas Corpus has evolved over the years, from it beginnings in England, to its addition to the US constitution. While Habeas Corpus pertains to every citizen that is tried in a US court, there is an argument as to weather habeas also applies to alien prisoners that are being held by the US government, on foreign land. In 2002, The Supreme Court began to get involved in this argument, considering the level of the war on terror was high and the Bush Administration had just developed GITMO prison. The argument between the President and the Supreme Court continue today. The question that needs to be answered is: should aliens that are under U.S. detainment on foreign land be entitled the right of habeas corpus?
The term habeas corpus was first used in England in the 14th century, but didn’t become official until the 1679 Habeas Corpus Act was passed in Great Britain. Prior to the Revolutionary War, British soldiers were holding colonist without allowing them to exercise their right of habeas corpus. This was one reason that sparked the Revolutionary War. As a result, the founding fathers of America added habeas corpus to The Constitution of the United States, saying that "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it" (Article 1, Section 9) (The Columbia Encyclopedia. 2011, p.1). To this day, citizens that have been charged with a crime enjoy the right of habeas corpus, usually in federal appeals. Habeas Corpus protects the civil liberty of citizens, as it assures them a chance to be heard by the highest court in the land. In contemporary America, as it relates to the war on terror, habeas corpus has been suspended in some cases, especially...
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