Supreme Court’s and Habeas Corpus War on Terror
Though the concept of a judicial review has been an integral part of the American legislation for an impressive number of decades, a closer look at the phenomenon in question will reveal a range of controversies surrounding the subject. On the one hand, the idea of having a board of juries, who make sure whether a specific law produced by the United States government, or a certain decision made by the latter is legitimate, does sound rather adequate.
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On the other hand, the principle in question may jeopardize the very fabric of the democratic society, since a board of juries mentioned above is given impressive power in terms of changing the decisions made by the U.S. government (FindLaw: For legal professionals, n. d.).
Therefore, it seems that there are enough reasons to restrict the power of the Supreme Court to making amendments to the decisions made by the United States government; cancelling these decisions or, on the contrary, prompting the choice of a specific step for the U.S. government to make cannot be considered a democratic solution for the problem.
Herein the key to the judicial philosophy of the Supreme Court lies; it appears that the aforementioned body should be guided by the principles of the liberal judicial philosophy, in accordance with which, the Supreme Court is given enough authority to affect the decisions made by the government, yet cannot control the latter fully.
It is important to realize that the U.S. government may err when making a decision regarding a specific political issue. Nevertheless, one must also keep in mind that, when getting out of control, the influence of the board of the Supreme Court onto the choices of the state government may lead to the breach of the key democracy principles. Hence, creating a flexible system, in which the two bodies interact in a dynamic manner, seems the only valid compromise to be made (C-SPAN, 2011, October 5).
In her thought provoking and enthralling article, Anne Hawke deals with the problem of Habeas Corpus as applied to the case of the Guantanamo detainees. There is no secret that the habeas Corpus principle does not concern the infamous prisoners of Guantanamo. Presupposing the right to get a direct access to the Federal Court for the prisoners of Guantanamo (Hawke, 2007, June 29, para. 3), this principle has been cancelled in Guantanamo, which Hawke does not argue against in her article. In fact, the author’s opinion on the issue is rather vague; Hawke merely states the key facts, supporting them with historical references, whereas what the author hints about the Guantanamo case remains concealed (Films on Demand, 2006).
Hawke starts with defining the very principle of the habeas corpus and goes on to give a brief overview of the Guantanamo prison. It is remarkable that Hawke manages to pin down the ethical controversy surrounding Guantanamo with a single remark: “Habeas is a process that challenges the lawfulness of how or why a detainee is confined at Guantanamo” (Hawke, 2007, June 29, para. 3).
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Hawke mentions the key arguments that the Justice Department has come up with in order to influence the current state of affairs at Guantanamo. As the author explains, at present, very few opportunities for the “habeas review” (Hawke, 2007, June 29, para.9) are open for the prisoners of Guantanamo.
I assume that the thesis on my final paper will look the following way: since most of the principles, which the war on terror is based by, are entirely against the postulates of habeas corpus, these postulates should be integrated into the process of combating the terrorists, since every human being deserves to be treated equally and enjoy their basic rights and freedoms, including the right of habeas corpus.
C-SPAN. (2011). Supreme Court justices take a seat at the witness table.
Films on Demand. (2006). Writ of habeas corpus. Judicial opinions: The Supreme Court justices.
FindLaw: For legal professionals. (n. d.). Annotation 13 – article III.
Hawke, A. (2007). Primer: Guantanamo detainees’ rights. National Public Radio.