Res Judicata Case Analysis

Topics: United States, Cuba, Fidel Castro Pages: 4 (762 words) Published: March 12, 2018

Storming the Court
This true story begins with the overthrow of the first elected president of Haiti and the persecution of his supporters by a military regime. In the early 90’s, thousands of people fled Haiti on boats headed to the United States. The US coast guard intercepted the refugees, INS’s hasty screening process determined they were all economic migrants and returned them to Haiti. A group of Florida lawyers were concerned with INS screening processes and filed the Baker lawsuit. The court issued an order temporarily halting the rushed interviews and preventing the Coast Guard from sending the refugees directly back to Haiti. However, the government did not want to bring the Haitian refugees to the mainland for fear that more would...

The court in Baker decided that since the government was holding the refugees in an overseas military base that afforded them no protection under American law. The Florida lawyers appealed however the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
Shortly thereafter a group of Yale law students with the help of their professor filed a new lawsuit on behalf of Haitian the refugees. Res judicata played a significant role for the students and professor since the court had already rendered a judgment in the Baker case. Res judicata also known as claim preclusion is a legal principle that states a case may not be relitigated once it has been judged on its merits. Simply, a losing plaintiff cannot re-sue the winning defendant for the same reason they did previously. While this doctrine may not seem just it promotes judicial efficiency, fairness, and consistent adjudication. Res judicata only allows a litigant one chance to litigate an issue and the losing party must rely on an...

I think that it really doesn’t matter where something is happening if our government is holding refugees those people are entitled to the protections afforded by American law and our constitution. It’s sad to me that the government fought so hard against protecting these people that truly needed our help. The results of this litigation do have an influence on our polices today as it applies to refugees. The Haitian refugee crisis was the first time most of America had ever heard about American laws not applying in certain locations. One of the most touching parts of the book to me was when Judge Johnson said “If the Due Process Clause does not apply to the detainees at Guantanamo the government would have discretion deliberately to starve or beat them to deprive them of medical attention. To return them without process to their persecutors, or to discriminate among them based on the color of their skin.” This litigation paved the way for the protections of the Al Qaeda detainees held on Guantanamo Bay post 9/11. The most interesting part of that for me is the fact that those men were not refugees but rather enemy combatants yet they were still afforded protections and...
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