habeas corpus

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Judge: Lab Chimps Have Right to Fight for Freedom

First time in US history animals allowed to challenge detention via habeas corpus

(Newser) - The writ of habeas corpus lets prisoners appear in court to make their captors justify why they're being held. Until now in the US, those who've used this legal tactic have been human. But a New York judge yesterday ruled that the writ may be used by two... More »

Chimp Rights: Not as Wacky as It Sounds

There are sound legal reasons to consider monkeys people, Danny Cevallos argues

(Newser) - When he first read about a petition demanding habeas corpus for a chimp named Tommy, Danny Cevallos thought what many people would: "Are. You. Kidding. Me?" Animals are, legally speaking, "chattel," meaning property, no different than a potted plant. But then the CNN legal analyst actually read... More »

Chimps Are Legal People, Too: Lawsuit

Group challenges 'unlawful detention' in NY

(Newser) - Are chimpanzees people— just like corporations ? Chimps deserve to be considered legal persons with some of the same rights as people—including the "fundamental legal right not to be imprisoned," according a lawsuit in New York state. The Nonhuman Rights Project has filed a writ of habeas... More »

Obama Throws Away Civil Liberties With Defense Bill

President to sign bill allowing indefinite detention of Americans

(Newser) - President Obama is taking a lot of heat today for dropping his threat to veto a controversial defense bill that could allow the military to capture and indefinitely detain American citizens on US soil. In a fiery editorial, the New York Times today called it "a complete political cave-in,... More »

Afghan Detainees Have Right to US Courts: Judge

(Newser) - A federal judge overruled both the Bush and the Obama administrations today, declaring that prisoners held at a military base in Afghanistan can challenge their detention in US civilian courts, the New York Times reports. The prisoners deserve the same right that the Supreme Court granted to Gitmo detainees last... More »

2 Dozen Gitmo Prisoners Win Court Cases

All but 3 who got hearings were found wrongfully detained

(Newser) - At least 24 detainees at Guantanamo Bay have won cases in federal court or military tribunals voiding their detention in the last 3 months. While the Bush administration has insisted that the prisoners who remain at Gitmo are "the worst of the worst," there was apparently no legal... More »

In Court, Philip Morris Uses Civil-Rights Smokescreen

Tobacco giant plays civil-rights card in battle with Oregon court over $79M judgment

(Newser) - Philip Morris has cast itself as a civil-rights victim being denied due process, Stephanie Mencimer writes for Mother Jones. The tobacco giant, ordered by an Oregon jury in 1999 to pay $79 million in punitive damages to a woman whose husband died of lung cancer, has been fighting the award... More »

5 Ordered Freed From Gitmo on Feds' Lack of Evidence

Governments' classified case insufficient to justify further detention

(Newser) - A federal judge today ordered the release of five Guantánamo Bay inmates, ruling that the US government’s evidence was not enough to justify their continued detention, the New York Times reports. The men were among the inmates who won a Supreme Court verdict in June that found they... More »

To Close Guantánamo, US Must Go Through Yemen

Officials reluctant to send prisoners back to unstable nation

(Newser) - As the new administration decides how to make good on its promise to close Guantánamo Bay, the little nation of Yemen is proving to be big trouble. US officials began sending detainees to be held in their home countries in 2005, but have kept all 100-odd Yemenis over fears... More »

Assaults on Our Freedom Come From Left and Right

Long bipartisan history of infringing on rights of Americans

(Newser) - Those who blame the current administration for assaults on US constitutional freedoms should take a longer view, writes Alexander Cockburn in the American Conservative. “No doubt the conservatives who cheered Bush on as he abrogated ancient rights and stretched the powers of his office to unseen limits would have... More »

Gitmo Detainees Begin Court Challenge

Six Algerian prisoners are first to contest detention by US

(Newser) - A federal judge opened the first habeas corpus hearing for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay yesterday, five months after the Supreme Court ruled that they may challenge their detention in court. The judge closed the court after opening statements were made, saying that the evidence was classified, the New York Times... More »

Mukasey Can't Reach Dems Across Gulf on Terror Law

Disgust, distrust on policy has attorney general's push falling on deaf ears

(Newser) - The refusal by Democrats to give Michael Mukasey a hearing during a Hill appearance yesterday is evidence of a “huge and poisonous gulf” between the legislative and executive branches that threatens to delay action on judicial process until 2009, Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball write in Newsweek. The attorney... More »

Bush Could Decide by Weekend to Close Gitmo

Supreme Court's decision has forced administration's hand

(Newser) - President Bush could decide by Saturday to close Guantanamo Bay as a prison for high-value detainees, insiders tell ABC. There is “generally wide agreement” among Bush's top advisers—Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates among them—that Gitmo should eventually be shuttered, but the landmark recent Supreme Court decision undermines... More »

Fall Gitmo Trials Could Present Campaign Landmine

But whether either candidate could find advantage remains uncertain

(Newser) - If everything goes right, the trial of the five Guantanamo Bay detainees charged in connection with the 9/11 attacks could begin within days of their seventh anniversary—and just as the presidential campaign begins its most heated stretch, Politico reports. Such a development would usually be a gift to Republicans,... More »

Advisers to Bush: You Asked for It

Lawyers warned him that detainee policy would backfire

(Newser) - President Bush ignored warnings that his detainee policy would spark a Supreme Court backlash, the Washington Post reports. Top lawyers both in and outside Washington said that jailing suspects without Congressional approval would push the court to rule on national security—but the White House either ignored the advice or... More »

Note to McCain: Gitmo Ruling Hardly 'Worst'

Shame on candidate for playing politics on habeas corpus

(Newser) - John McCain's painting of last week's Guantanamo Bay ruling as one of the Supreme Court’s “worst decisions" has George Will scoffing in the Washington Post. Various segregation rulings could hold that title, he notes, but more important to McCain should be the justices' affirmation of habeas corpus, "... More »

High Court's Gitmo Ruling Raises Election Issue

Landmark ruling could be lightning rod for focus on the court's direction

(Newser) - The Supreme Court's ruling on Guantanamo detainees may put the court in the election spotlight for the first time in decades, Linda Greenhouse writes in the New York Times. The dramatic language of Antonin Scalia's dissent could be a signpost for conservatives worried about the court's course; because of the... More »

McCain Decries Supreme Court Gitmo Decision

Candidate says he foresees clogged justice system

(Newser) - John McCain waited a day to react to the Supreme Court's decision on Guantanamo prisoners and came out swinging, calling yesterday’s ruling “one of the worst decisions in the history of the country.” His strong language makes it clear that this will be an election issue, Time... More »

Gitmo Will Be Transformed, Not Closed

Court ruling strips base of its legal rationale for US

(Newser) - The Supreme Court's ruling yesterday against the Bush administration will not shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center. But by concluding that detainees can appeal their detention in US civilian courts, the high court stripped away its reason for being, erasing the government's claim that an offshore prison was beyond... More »

'Landmark' Gitmo Ruling Is a Blow Against Tyranny

Justices rebuke Bush and restore one of the nation's founding principles

(Newser) - Today's Supreme Court decision giving Guantanamo Bay prisoners the right to challenge their detention "will be one of the most celebrated landmark rulings of this generation," Glenn Greenwald writes in Salon. By upholding habeas corpus—a rebuke to the Bush administration and complicit pols of all stripes—the... More »

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