Supremes Give Guantanamo Detainees Day in Court

Terror suspects have habeas corpus, get access to federal trials
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2008 10:39 AM CDT
The sun rises over Camp Delta detention compound which has housed foreign prisoners since 2002, at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, in Cuba, Friday, June 6, 2008.    (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, Pool)
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(Newser) – Terror suspects have the right to challenge their detention in US federal courts, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today, in yet another blow to the Bush administration's terrorism policies. The ruling dismisses the military tribunals currently in effect in Guantanamo Bay as an inadequate substitute for a court review of detainees' status as "enemy combatant."

The ruling split along ideological lines, with Justice Anthony Kennedy voting with the more liberal justices. “The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times,” Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “We hold that these petitioners do have the habeas corpus privilege.” Justice Scalia read an angry dissent.