|Hamdi v. Rumsfeld|
Supreme Court of the United States
|Argued April 28, 2004|
Decided June 28, 2004
|U. S. citizens designated as enemy combatants by the Executive Branch have a right to challenge their detainment under the Due Process Clause. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded.|
|Chief Justice: William Rehnquist|
Associate Justices: John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer
|Plurality by: O'Connor|
Joined by: Rehnquist, Kennedy, Breyer
Concurrence/dissent by: Souter
Joined by: Ginsburg
Dissent by: Scalia
Joined by: Stevens
Dissent by: Thomas
|U.S. Const. art. II, amend. V; ; 115 Stat. William Hubbs Rehnquist (October 1 1924 – September 3 2005 was an American lawyer, jurist, and a political figure who served as an Associate Justice John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is currently the most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Sandra Day O'Connor (born March 26, 1930) is an American Jurist. (born March 11, 1936) is an American Jurist and the second most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Anthony McLeod Kennedy (born July 23, 1936) has been an Associate Justice of the U For the Australian artist see David Henry Souter. David Hackett Souter (ˈsutɚ born September 17, 1939) has been an Clarence Thomas (born June 23, 1948) is an American Jurist. He has been serving as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg (born March 15 1933 Brooklyn New York) is an Associate Justice on the U Stephen Gerald Breyer (born August 15 1938 is an American Attorney and Jurist. Article Two' of the United States Constitution creates the Executive branch of the government, comprising the President and other executive The Fifth Amendment ( Amendment V) of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, is related to legal procedure Title 18 of the United States Code is the Criminal and Penal code of the Federal government of the United States. 224 (Authorization for Use of Military Force)|
Hamdi v. The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists ( one of two resolutions commonly known as "AUMF" (the other being " Authorization for Use of Military Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004) was a U.S. Supreme Court decision reversing the dismissal of a habeas corpus petition brought on behalf of Yaser Esam Hamdi, a U. Case citation is the system used in many countries to identify the decisions in past Court cases either in special series of books called reporters "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. Habeas corpus (ˈheɪbiəs ˈkɔɹpəs ( Latin: command that you have the body is the name of a legal action or Writ, through which a person can seek relief S. citizen being detained indefinitely as an "illegal enemy combatant". The Court recognized the power of the government to detain unlawful combatants, but ruled that detainees who are U. An unlawful combatant or unprivileged combatant/belligerent is a Civilian who directly engages in armed conflict under the International Humanitarian Law S. citizens must have the ability to challenge their detention before an impartial judge.
Hamdi was captured in Afghanistan by the Afghan Northern Alliance in 2001 and then turned over to U. Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, The United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan ( UIF, Jabha-yi Muttahid-i Islami-yi Milli bara-yi Nijat-i Afghanistan) also known as the Northern Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar. S. military authorities during the U.S. invasion. The War in Afghanistan, which began on October 7 2001 as the U The U. S. government alleged that Hamdi was there fighting for the Taliban, while Hamdi, through his father, has claimed that he was merely there as a relief worker and was mistakenly captured. The Taliban ( طالبان, also anglicised as Taleban; translation "students" is a Sunni Islamist, predominately
Hamdi was initially held at Guantanamo Bay, but then transferred to a naval brig in Norfolk, Virginia when it was discovered that he held U. The Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp is a controversial United States Detention center operated by Joint Task Force Guantanamo since 2002 in Guantanamo Norfolk is an Independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States The Commonwealth of Virginia ( is an American state S. (as well as Saudi) citizenship, and then finally to a brig in Charleston, South Carolina. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, KSA ( المملكة العربية السعودية, al-Mamlaka al-ʻArabiyya as-Suʻūdiyya) or Suudi Charleston is a city in Charleston county in the US state of South Carolina. The Bush administration claimed that because Hamdi was caught in arms against the U. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. S. , he could be properly detained as an unlawful combatant, without any oversight of presidential decision making, or without access to an attorney or the court system. An unlawful combatant or unprivileged combatant/belligerent is a Civilian who directly engages in armed conflict under the International Humanitarian Law The administration argued that this power was constitutional and necessary to effectively fight the War on Terror, declared by the congress of the United States in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Act passed after the September 11th terrorist attacks. The War on Terrorism (also known as the War on Terror) is the common term for the military political and legal, and ideological conflict and specifically for U The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The government used its detention authority to ensure that terrorists were no longer a threat while active combat operations continued and to ensure suspects could be fully interrogated.
In June of 2002, Hamdi's father, Esam Fouad Hamdi, filed a habeas petition in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia is one of two United States district courts serving the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Honorable Robert G. Doumar ruled that Hamdi's father was a proper "next friend" having standing to sue on behalf of his son, and ordered that a federal public defender be given access to Hamdi. Judge Robert G Doumar (born 1930 is a United States Senior District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Next friend, in British law and American law, is the phrase used for a person who represents in an action another person who is under disability or otherwise In the United States, a public defender is an Attorney whose duty is to provide legal representation to people who are charged with a crime or other offense On appeal, however, the Fourth Circuit reversed the District Court's order, ruling that the District Court had failed to give proper deference to the government's "intelligence and security interests," and that it should proceed with a properly deferential investigation. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is a federal court located in Richmond Virginia with Appellate jurisdiction over the
The case was then sent back to the District Court, which denied the government's motion to dismiss Hamdi's petition. Judge Doumar found the government's evidence supporting Hamdi's detention woefully inadequate, and based predominantly on hearsay and bare assertions. Hearsay is the legal term that describes statements made outside of court or other judicial proceedings The District Court ordered the government to produce numerous documents for in camera review by the court that would enable it to perform a "meaningful judicial review," such as the statements by the Northern Alliance regarding Hamdi's capture, the dates and circumstances of his capture and interrogations, and a list of all the officials involved in the determination of his "unlawful combatant" status. In Camera was a musical project of Andrew Gray, who later formed The Wolfgang Press. The United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan ( UIF, Jabha-yi Muttahid-i Islami-yi Milli bara-yi Nijat-i Afghanistan) also known as the Northern
The government appealed Judge Doumar's order to produce the evidence, and the Fourth Circuit again reversed the District Court. Because it was "undisputed that Hamdi was captured in a zone of active combat in a foreign theater of conflict," the Fourth Circuit stated that it was not proper for any court to hear a challenge of his status. It ruled that the broad warmaking powers delegated to the President under Article Two of the United States Constitution and the principle of separation of powers prohibited courts from interfering in this vital area of national security. Article Two' of the United States Constitution creates the Executive branch of the government, comprising the President and other executive Separation of powers, a term ascribed to French Enlightenment Political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, is a model for the Governance After the Fourth Circuit denied a petition for rehearing en banc, Hamdi's father appealed to the Supreme Court, which granted review and reversed the Fourth Circuit's ruling.
Hamdi was represented before the Court by Federal Public Defender Frank W. Dunham, Jr. and the Government's side was argued by the Principal Deputy Solicitor General, Paul Clement. Frank W Dunham Jr (c 1942 - November 3, 2006 in Alexandria Virginia) was the lead lawyer for Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged Paul Drew Clement (born June 1966 was until recently the United States Solicitor General.
Though no single opinion of the Court commanded a majority, eight of the nine justices of the Court agreed that the Executive Branch does not have the power to hold indefinitely a U. The federal government of the United States is the central United States Governmental body established by the United States Constitution. S. citizen without basic due process protections enforceable through judicial review. Due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that a person has a right to receive notice and be heard in an orderly proceeding in order to protect his or her
Justice O'Connor wrote a plurality opinion representing the Court's judgment, which was joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Breyer and Kennedy. Sandra Day O'Connor (born March 26, 1930) is an American Jurist. William Hubbs Rehnquist (October 1 1924 – September 3 2005 was an American lawyer, jurist, and a political figure who served as an Associate Justice Stephen Gerald Breyer (born August 15 1938 is an American Attorney and Jurist. Anthony McLeod Kennedy (born July 23, 1936) has been an Associate Justice of the U O'Connor wrote that although Congress had expressly authorized the detention of unlawful combatants in its Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed after 9/11, due process required that Hamdi have a meaningful opportunity to challenge his detention. The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists ( one of two resolutions commonly known as "AUMF" (the other being " Authorization for Use of Military However, Justice O'Connor used the three-prong test of Mathews v. Eldridge to limit the due process to be received. Mathews v Eldridge,, is a case in which the United States Supreme Court held that individuals have a statutorily granted property right in social security benefits This required notice of the charges and an opportunity to be heard, though because of the burden upon the Executive of ongoing military conflict, normal procedural protections such as placing the burden of proof on the government or the ban on hearsay need not apply. Burden of proof (onus probandi is the obligation to prove Allegations which are presented in a Legal action. Not to be confused with Heresy. Hearsay is a legal term referring to the use of out of court statements as evidence O'Connor suggested the Department of Defense create fact-finding tribunals similar to the AR 190-8 to determine whether a detainee merited continued detention as an enemy combatant. Military Police Enemy Prisoners of War Retained Personnel Civilian Internees and Other Detainees is the full title of a United States Department of Defense document usually The United States Department of Defense created Combatant Status Review Tribunals in response, modeling them after the AR 190-8. The United States Department of Defense ( DOD or DoD) is the federal department charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government The Combatant Status Review Tribunals ( CSRT) are a set of Tribunals purposed to determine whether Detainees held by the United O'Connor did not write at length on Hamdi's right to an attorney, because by the time the Court rendered its decision, Hamdi had already been granted access to one. However, O'Connor did write that Hamdi "unquestionably has the right to access to counsel in connection with the proceedings on remand. " The plurality held that judges need not be involved in reviewing these cases, rather only an impartial decision maker was required.
Justice David Souter, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, concurred with the plurality's judgment that due process protections must be available for Hamdi to challenge his status and detention, providing a majority for that part of the ruling. For the Australian artist see David Henry Souter. David Hackett Souter (ˈsutɚ born September 17, 1939) has been an Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg (born March 15 1933 Brooklyn New York) is an Associate Justice on the U However, they dissented from the plurality's ruling that AUMF established Congressional authorization for the detention of unlawful combatants.
Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent, joined by Justice John Paul Stevens, went the furthest in restricting the Executive power of detention. (born March 11, 1936) is an American Jurist and the second most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is currently the most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Scalia asserted that based on historical precedent, the government had only two options to detain Hamdi: either Congress must suspend the right to habeas corpus (a power provided for under the Constitution only in times of "invasion" or "rebellion"), which hadn't happened; or Hamdi must be tried under normal criminal law. Scalia wrote that the plurality, though well meaning, had no basis in law for trying to establish new procedures that would be applicable in a challenge to Hamdi's detention—it was only the job of the Court to declare it unconstitutional and order his release or proper arrest, rather than to invent an acceptable process for detention.
Justice Clarence Thomas was the only justice who sided entirely with the government and the Fourth Circuit's ruling, based on his view of the important security interests at stake and the President's broad war-making powers. Clarence Thomas (born June 23, 1948) is an American Jurist. He has been serving as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United
Although by the terms used in the Court's holdings they were apparently limited to "citizen-detainees," the last paragraph of section III, D of the O'Connor plurality (four justices: O'Connor, Rehnquist, Kennedy, and Breyer) relies on the Geneva Convention and states that Habeas Corpus should be available to an "alleged enemy combatant. " Based on that language and Court's holding in the case of Rasul v. Bush (issued on the same day as Hamdi, but limited solely to the holding that U. Rasul v Bush, 542 US 466 (2004 is a landmark United States Supreme Court decision establishing that the U S. courts have jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus petitions filed by the Guantanamo detainees), the government conceded that some very limited due process rights allowing for hearings to determine the detainees' status as enemy combatants and the right to legal counsel would be extended to all of the Guantanamo detainees, citizen and non-citizen alike. The application of the Court's decisions in these cases is not inconsistent with the fact that the other two justices in the Hamdi majority, as well as two of the dissenting justices (Scalia and Stevens) were even more restrictive in their willingness to concede any of the detention powers requested by the government for Guantanamo detainees in the Hamdi case.
In regard to the detention of detainees without charge, in section I of the O'Connor plurality opinion the plurality relied on the time-honored traditions of war, the Geneva Convention, and a long list of other international treaties, to hold that the government had authority under the Authorization for Use of Military Force enacted by Congress in 2001 shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to hold any enemy combatants until the cessation of hostilities (not indefinitely). The plurality held that such protective detention could be applied to both citizen and non-citizen enemy combatants. Of the four justices outside the plurality, Justices Ginsberg and Souter limited their opinions to their position that Section 4001(a) of Title 18 of the United States Code (the Non-Detention Act; enacted to prevent the sort of detention that occurred when the United States placed Japanese-American citizens in concentration camps during World War II) prevented the detention of U. The Non-Detention Act of 1971 was passed to repeal the Emergency Detention Act of 1950 which allowed for detention of suspected subversives without the normal Constitutional S. citizens. Justice Scalia (whose opinion was joined by Justice Stevens), restricted his holding to citizen-detainees and implied that anyone held outside of United States' territory might be beyond the reach of the Court altogether. Again, the Rasul case did not directly address the detention issue, and any hearings would be limited to the determination of enemy combatant status.
In the subsequent case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Court decided that the "military commissions" created to try enemy combatants for war crimes suffered from certain fatal procedural defects under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Convention and were without other legal authority to proceed, despite Congress' attempt to deprive the Court of jurisdiction to decide that issue by passing the Detainee Treatment Act. Hamdan v Rumsfeld, 548 US 557 (2006 is a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that military commissions set up by the The Uniform Code of Military Justice ( UCMJ,,) is the foundation of Military law in the United States. Justices in the majority (particularly Justices Kennedy and Breyer) disagreed with Justice Stevens as to whether the "charge" of conspiracy could be maintained to justify the determination of enemy combatant status. Although the Court struck down the military commissions as created by the Executive Branch, they did not provide the detainees with direct access to the federal courts, but only with access to a fair and impartial hearing to a tribunal constitutionally authorized by Congress and proceeding with certain due process guarantees (such as one operated under terms similar to those provided by Article I courts under the UCMJ or according to the terms of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949). The Third Geneva Convention (or GCIII) of 1949 one of the Geneva Conventions, is a treaty agreement that primarily concerns the treatment of Prisoners of