Supreme Court of the United States and Civil Liberties Union

Topics: Supreme Court of the United States, President of the United States, George W. Bush Pages: 4 (1498 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the War on Terror
Even though suspending habeas corpus during the period of War on Terror is acceptable and is the Presidents way of protecting and preserving the United States Constitution during the War on Terror were civil liberties violated, and should habeas corpus been suspended. Detaining individuals for a suspected crime and not giving them their day in court is in violation of the Constitution. Habeas corpus was implemented in the Constitution to ensure that individual would not be unlawfully imprisoned. Presidents have used their war time power to suspend the habeas corpus, is this violating civil rights and liberties? Habeas corpus is derived from the Latin term “you have the body” which is the opening terms of a legal writ (, 2013). Habeas corpus is a legal writ that a person or prisoner can use when they are being detained by the law illegally. A prisoner has the right to know the charges that he or she is being held for and they also have the right to a trial by a jury of his or her peers (Lobban & Halliday, 2011). Habeas corpus is the actual legal action that commands the law (police or military police) to have a court inquiry as to why the detainee is being detained (The Characters of Freedom, n.d.). If the person is being detained for insufficient or unjustifiable reasons the court can order the release of the prisoner. So basically putting it, Habeas corpus is identified as a legal safeguard that protects people’s individual rights and not being illegally imprisoned (A Constitutional History of Habeas Corpus, 1982).

John Merryman a Pro-Confederate was arrested for treason, during the time that Lincoln had declared martial law, and through his attorney Merryman requested a writ of habeas corpus (Levin-Waldman, 2012). He was granted his requested and the order was issued for Merryman to be released. Lincoln ignored the request and in 1863, Congress approved the suspension and proposes...
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