| Page Political Science 330 1-Nov-10 Guantanamo Cases Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (US 2006) Case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that military commissions set up by the Bush administration to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay lack "the power to proceed because its structures and procedures violate both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the four Geneva Conventions signed in 1949." Specifically, the ruling says that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions was violated. The case considered whether the United States Congress may pass legislation preventing the Supreme Court from hearing the case of an accused combatant before his military commission takes place, whether the special military commissions that had been set up violated federal law (including the Uniform Code of Military Justice and treaty obligations), and whether courts can enforce the articles of the 1949 Geneva Convention. The court had to determine whether or not they had jurisdiction because of acts passed by Congress. The court adhered to an Ashwander Rule (when a case can be dispose of on a constitutional ground or a non-constitutional ground, it should be decided on the non-constitutional ground). The court decided the case on Statutory Revision grounds. Whoever had drafted the statute had not drafted it properly, as it only dealt with future cases and not currently pending ones. Did the military commissions made to trial Hamdan have the legal authority to do so? To satisfy Justice Scalia, the Constitution of the US grants Congress the right to define and punish offenses against the law of nations Authority came from the President, not from Congress Can also come from Common Law of War When military commissions substitute for civilian courts Only can be done when martial law is declared Military commissions convened incident to the conduct of war The last time these types of commissions had been used was in WWII. Has to deal with a theatre of war There was no theatre of war here. The Supreme Court?s decision led to the Military Commissions Act Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (DTA) Act of the United States Congress that prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantanamo Bay; requires military interrogations to be performed according to the U.S. Army Field Manual for Human Intelligence Collector Operations; and strips federal courts of jurisdiction to consider habeas corpus petitions filed by prisoners in Guantanamo, or other claims asserted by Guantanamo detainees against the U.S. government, as well as limiting appellate review of decisions of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals and Military Commissions. On June 12, 2008, the Supreme Court, in the case of Boumediene v. Bush, ruled 5-4 that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 unconstitutionally limited detainee's access to judicial review and that detainees have the right to challenge their detention in conventional civilian courts. Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA)
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