Background of the Case
In 2001, Yasser Hamdi was arrested in Afghanistan by the United States military. Yasser was an American citizen and was accused of being a member of the Taliban while they were fighting against the United Stets. The victim was accused of being a facilitator of a Confederate military organization, obtained weapons for them, and that he conspired to free Confederate prisoners. The hearing of his case took place before a military tribunal. The victim was then sentenced to death for violating the US laws regarding war. Hamdi filed a habeas corpus petition to the court tribunal, and he alleged that the tribunal did not have a fair hearing of his case. The court then established that the Congress did not have the power of creating military tribunals particularly during the opening and presence of state courts (Del Carmen 212). The court then said that the victim was denied the chance of having a fair trial for his case under the Sixth Amendment.
The court then ordered that there be an assignment of the federal public defender to the Hamdi and that the defender is given unmonitored access to the victim. When the government appealed the order on July 12, 2002, it was discovered that the district court did not provide the government with an adequate amount of defense concerning its intelligence gathering during military hostilities abroad. The appellate court then decided that the district court reconsiders the most careful concerns first while carrying out a differential investigation into the enemy combatant status of Hamdi. After that, the government filed a motion aimed at dismissing the habeas of Hamdi, and they attached a two-page sworn declaration of a special advisor known as Michael Mobbs. Mobbs accepted that he was closely connected with detaining enemy combatants involved in fighting terrorists and his knowledge about Hamdi’s case.
According to Mobbs, A US interrogation team had interviewed the victim who claimed to be a Saudi citizen, but he was born in the US. The victim told the interrogation team that he had entered Afghanistan to join the Taliban terrorists where he trained and fought with them. Therefore, the US government found the victim an enemy combatant based on ten facts collected from then investigation and the fact that Hamdi had ammunition during the time of his capture. When the district court re-examined the Mobbs Declaration, they discovered that they were far from the legal requirements as pertains to the trial and detention of Hamdi (Capozzi Julia 1303). The government then appealed the district court’s production order, and they reversed the Fourth Circuit, finding that the detention of Hamdi was legal because he was arrested in a zone that made liable to trial and detention as an active combatant.
The Supreme Court ruled that military commissions should be set up b y then president to try and enemy combatant that are found to violate any rights of the detailed suspects that are provided by the US Code of Military Justice as well as the Geneva Convention. The first ruling of the court was that the Supreme Court had the power of reviewing Hamdi’s case because the law provisions that were there did not clearly preclude the Supreme Court from reviewing the habeas corpus petitions regarding an enemy combatant. The other ruling of the Supreme Court was that the Congress did not vest the president with enough powers to allow him to create special military commissions that would try terrorist suspects that deviated from other tribunal systems or courts-martial (Anderson James 689).
Thirdly, the court also ruled that the president’s administration commissions did not abide by the provisions of the Geneva Convention and rules provided for in the Military Justice Uniform Code that comply with the Convention (Anderson James 702). The Geneva Convention prohibits the court from passing sentences and performing executions minus the paying attention of the previous judgments o0f a regularly constituted court. The argument of the court was that the Geneva Convention applied to individuals such as Hamdi, who were arrested in as a result of international conflicts in the grounds of any one signatory member of the Convention such as Afghanistan. The court argued that the military commissions of the president violated the convention and the military codes’ provisions in specific and dramatic ways (Capozzi Julia 1303). For instance, the commissions prohibited the Attorney General from sharing the evidence used against the defendant, and that violated the rights of the defendant because he could not appeal to the US court.
Therefore, the court ruled that the military commission that was scheduled to try Hamdi did not have the jurisdiction to proceed with the case because its procedures and structure were not in line with the Geneva Convention and UCMJ signed in 1949 (Theis Gerald 190). Although the case was narrowly decided, the ruling of the case confirmed that it played the role of guarding personal liberties even in times of worst national exigencies.
The court ruled well on the case because there is a need for a due process for hearing a citizen of the United States when accused of serving as an enemy combatant. The defendant needs to have a meaningful opportunity for contesting based on factual matters regarding his/her detention. The government would have condensed the jurisdiction into a single branch as the court were required to forgo the examination of a case and examine only the legality of the overall detention scheme. The nullification of the special military commission’s power to try terrorism suspects, the ruling by the court lefty a void in the US’s prosecutorial apparatus of the ‘War on Terror (Perkins Jared 437).’ It was because of the void that the president and the Congress and then President wanted to enact the Military Commission Act in the year 2006. However, its conditionality is unclear. For instance, the act does not allow foreigners deemed ‘enemy combatants’ to challenge their detention in court, and it also eliminate the procedures and protections employed in military courts-martial and the judicial trials.
The results arrive at by the plurality opinion in light of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld was very correct. A United citizen, when capture on the battleground b y the US military based on the War on Terror, that individual should not be labeled as an enemy combatant and consequently detained without being given access to as a lawyer. The Constitution grants an individual the right to have due process of hearing of his case by a neutral decision-maker. The court ruled correctly that President had the constitutional power of detaining a citizen and an alien alike based on facts that such as individual are an enemy combatant.
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Anderson, James B. “Hamdi v. Rumsfeld: judicious balancing at the intersection of the executive’s power to detain and the citizen-detainee’s right to due process.” The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1973-) 95.3 (2005): 689-724.
Capozzi, Julia Y. “Hamdan v. Rumsfeld: A short-lived decision.” Whittier L. Rev. 28 (2006): 1303.
Del, Carmen R. V. Criminal Procedure: Law and Practice. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2006. Print.
Perkins, Jared. “Habeas Corpus in the War Against Terrorism: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Citizen Enemy Combatants.” BYU J. Pub. L. 19 (2004): 437.
Theis, Gerald. “Constitutional Law–Due Process and the Military Commission.” Marq. L. Rev. 30 (1946): 190.
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