Huffpost Politics

Guantanamo Detainees Have Constitutional Rights: Politicians React

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The Supreme Court ruled today that detainees held in Guantanamo Bay have a constitutional right to challenge their detention. This is the third such ruling rebuking the Bush Administration over its handling of foreign terrorism suspects. Politician have begun to react to the Supreme Court's decision.

Senator Barack Obama:

Today's Supreme Court decision ensures that we can protect our nation and bring terrorists to justice, while also protecting our core values. The Court's decision is a rejection of the Bush Administration's attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo - yet another failed policy supported by John McCain.

Senator John McCain:

It obviously concerns me. These are unlawful combatants, they are not American citizens, but -- and I think that we should pay attention to justice Roberts' opinion in this decision -- but it is a decision the Supreme Court has made. Now we need to move forward. As you know, I always favored closing of Guantanamo Bay and I still think that we ought to do that.

Senator Russ Feingold:

Today's Supreme Court decision is yet another stinging rebuke of the Bush administration's extreme views on executive power. Time after time, the Supreme Court has rebuffed the administration's attempts to undermine the Constitution, from its Rasul and Hamdi decisions in 2004 to its Hamdan decision in 2006. It is a testament to our system of government that the Court has rejected the habeas-stripping provisions of the Military Commissions Act and reaffirmed that the government does not have the power to detain people indefinitely and arbitrarily without judicial review. The writ of habeas corpus provides one of the most significant protections of human freedom against arbitrary government action ever created. We can and must fight terrorists without abandoning the principles on which our country was founded.

Senator Patrick Leahy:

There is nothing more fundamental than the right of habeas corpus. In
three separate decisions, the Supreme Court in recent years has
rejected this administration's erosion of fundamental rights. These
protections set the United States apart from those who wish to harm
us. This decision echoes earlier court opinions that have solidified
our constitutional system of checks and balances. The administration
has rolled back essential rights that have long guided our nation's
conscience.

Today's Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush is a stinging
rebuke of the Bush administration's flawed detention policies, and a
vindication for those who have also argued from the beginning that it
was unwise as well as unconstitutional.

Senator Dick Durbin:

The Supreme Court today has reminded this Administration and its
Congressional supporters that the fundamental precepts of liberty must
be respected even as we work to protect our nation. Giving the
detainees at Guantanamo the right to challenge their detention in
court is basic to any system of justice. Today's Supreme Court
decision again rejects policies of this Administration that are
inconsistent with our Constitution.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler:

Today's ruling is a resounding affirmation for the rule of law and a rejection of the President's sweeping claims of power," said Rep. Nadler. "We all agree that terrorists must be brought to justice - but we must not abandon the very system of justice we are protecting in the process. This decision reaffirms that, even in a time of conflict, the President does not have the authority to act as a tyrant. Time and time again, the courts have rightly rejected President Bush's campaign to undermine the Constitution.