June 12, 2008

Habeas Corpus: A Letter from Our Friend, Senator Patrick Leahy

Dear NEA Peace & Justice Caucus Friends,

Today the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a stinging rebuke to the Bush-Cheney Administration's handling of military detainees at Guantanamo Bay -- while vindicating you, me, and thousands of others who have spoken out against the Administration's unwise and unconstitutional policies from the very beginning.

In today's 5-4 Boumediene v. Bush decision, the Court ruled that stripping habeas corpus rights from detainees at Guantanamo Bay was unconstitutional. In so doing, the Court reaffirmed the fundamental right of habeas corpus -- the right that all Americans, and those prisoners under American control, have to challenge the government's reasons for imprisoning them -- a fundamental American right that underpins our individual freedoms and liberty.

Now, in three separate decisions, the Supreme Court has rejected the Bush-Cheney Administration's erosion of fundamental rights. It is these very protections and rights that set America apart from our enemies and make our nation a beacon of freedom and justice for the rest of the world.

It's time to repair the damage that the Bush-Cheney Administration has done in rolling back essential rights that have long guided America's conscience -- and the Supreme Court's ruling is yet one more step in that important process. It's another signal that -- at least in this instance -- we will not cringe in fear and walk away from bedrock American values.

Today's decision is a huge victory for justice, for the Constitution, and for the rule of law. Thank you so much for continuing to stand with me and fight for the rights and freedoms we hold dear.


Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator

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