Senators Seek to Bring Clarity to Supreme Court's Handling of Habeas Petitions Filed by Detainees
Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have introduced legislation that provides Congressional guidance on the procedures for federal courts to follow when considering petitions for habeas corpus filed by detainees held at Guantanamo Bay Cuba. On June 12, the Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that detainees held at Guantanamo have a constitutional right to file habeas petitions. These unprecedented proceedings have created uncertainties for the court that raise serious national security concerns.
"Now that the Supreme Court has ruled to grant Guantanamo detainees access to federal courts to seek writs of habeas corpus, we must be certain both that the courts have clear guidance on how to adjudicate these cases and that our national security is not compromised in the process," said Lieberman. "That is Congress' role and this legislation addresses those national security concerns by protecting classified information, limiting the burdens placed on our military and intelligence personnel and directing the courts not to release any detainees into the United States -- while also ensuring that the judges deciding these cases will have the kind of record before them to make sound decisions on the underlying facts."
"Our bill is a reasonable solution to a new problem created by the Supreme Court's Boumediene decision," said Graham. "The judiciary has requested congressional involvement and assistance. The Attorney General has called on Congress to act. Our bill allows detainees due process without compromising national security."