The right of habeas corpus is included in the US constitution. It represents a distinctly important right that the constitution grants to individual suspects of crime in the Americas. This particular writ as stated by the US constitution entails the judicial mandate that require the detainers to bring the arrested and detained individual before the court in order to determine if the government has the constitutional right to continue detention of the arrested individual . The constitution provides the individual held or even their representative to petition the court in order to be granted such a writ. This paper focuses on addressing the writ of habeas corpus in the manner that it should be applied for common citizens as well as terrorists or illegal combatants of a nation that jeopardize the security of the nation.
Historical evolution of habeas corpus
Habeas corpus is an ancient law. It entails a procedure to which an individual has an undeniable right. In the English dimension, the history of this write is ancient. It is of the Anglo-Saxon common low. The Anglo-Saxon is an ancient group of Germanic origin that lived in Britain way back leading to the development of the English language. This law precedes Magna Carta in 1215. Its practice has evolved over time since these times, with practices, which has a similar effect as its application today . The practices involved compelling the appearance of an individual held in custody to appear before the court. Initially habeas corpus was a writ of the king. However, it has become a prerogative writ initiated by the restrained or his representative. In America, the writ of habeas corpus developed when the British colonized the country. After independence, the writ was recognized by the newly formed constitution, which explained it as the right of an individual to be brought before the court to determine whether his detention is lawful or not. The writ give people held in custody the right to petition the court so that they appear before the court to have it determined whether they should be detained.
Suspension of habeas corpus in U.S
Article 1, section IX of the US constitution clearly states that, “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” this statement presents the particular occasions that necessitate the suspension of the writ. Essentially, in order to ensure that there is effective maintenance of safety and security of the nation, some instances may force the governing authority to suspend this writ in order to carry out investigations and determine the right course of action . For instance, Abraham Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus on April 27 1861 in Maryland when he received word saying that mobs had the intention of railroad tracks between Annapolis and Philadelphia. Therefore, Lincoln suspended this right during the civil war in order to ensure that he maintained order with regard to some aspects. President Bush also signed a law that suspended the right of habeas corpus to individuals who were determined by the United States as enemy combatants, which was in response to the global war on terror.
Analysis of habeas corpus
Since 9/11 event, the Americans have lived in fear of attacks by enemy combatants. Notably, the governing authorities have a responsibility to protect innocent citizens against the malicious activities of enemy combatants. Constitutionally, it is well stated that suspension of the right of habeas corpus is unnecessary except in the case rebellion or invasion by enemy combatants, infringing the right to safety of the public . as such, the measures taken by the united states to suspend the right of habeas corpus in order to fight against terrorism is well justified. If enemy combatants are arrested where there is clear evidence of their involvement in the terrorism mission, then they should be denied this right since there is no need to grant rights to enemies who are sure to bring insecurity and lack of safety in the nation. In order to fight terrorism effectively, it is well appropriate to suspend this right for the terrorists in order to ensure that their intention to carry out their mission is well mitigated since they clearly understand the consequences once caught. Illegal combatants should be denied this right as they carry out the combat illegally without any reasonable bases.
U.S supreme court interpretation of habeas corpus
The US Supreme Court has a distinct interpretation for habeas corpus with regard to illegal combatants. The views of the justices making up the majority in Boumediene v. Bush showed the intent to give the illegal combatants the right to habeas corpus. The court recognizes that the writ of habeas corpus forms the most basic instrument that safeguards individual freedom against arbitrary or lawless actions of a state . As such, the US Supreme Court understands that the write should be administered with the initiative as well as flexibility necessary to ensure correction of miscarriages of injustice. In the year 2008, the United States Supreme Court made a ruling in Boumediene v. Bush that those detained at Guantanamo had the right to file habeas corpus petitions in order to have the opportunity to challenge their indefinite detention. This is a clear indication that the court grants the illegal combatants the right to habeas corpus since of kept in custody without trial, this demeans their right to habeas corpus and hence their right to justice.
Evaluation of perspectives
- Role of president as commander in chief
Notably, the US Supreme Court recognizes the mandate of the president. However, it also understands that it is necessary for the president to act within certain limits in order to ensure that there is no infringement of the rights of persons considered the enemy combatants. It is only in very critical cases that the president should have the undisputable right to suspend habeas corpus in order to ensure mitigation of the effects of certain occurrences . The president should act accordingly based on the prevalent condition in order to ensure that there is due protection of the rights of the civilians as well as the people detained.
- Role of congress in determination of habeas corpus
The congress has the right to determine the suspension of habeas corpus on certain occasion. For instance, the congress has the mandate to decide on the suspension of the right of habeas corpus as per constitutional statement. This is because the congress has to protect the interest of the public as appropriate . In instances where there is rebellion of invasion of public safety, it is necessary for the congress to suspend the right of habeas corpus in order to provide for lawful action against the rebels or enemy combatants who threaten the safety of the public.
- Role of Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has a significant role of protecting civil liberties. Pin order to be effective in this, it should ensure that there is flexibility with regard to some statements indicated in the constitution based on the prevailing condition. For instance, it should ensure that people considered illegal combatants have the appropriate access to justice in order to determine if they are legally detained . It should ensure that there is fair dealing for all people under the judicial dispensation of the country in order to abide by the philosophy of fairness and justice for all humans.
- Personal philosophy
Notably, it is always necessary to ensure that there is a balance between civil liberties and national security. If granting civil liberty may threaten national security, there would be no need to grant such; however, if civil liberties ensure that there is a fair and just judicial system, which recognizes the rights of humans, it would be necessary. Concerning the war on terror, it is evident that enemy combatants violate the natural law . For this reason, they should not be allowed to perpetually carry out activities that threaten the safety of others. In this case, they should not be granted civil rights unless it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that security would not be threatened once they receive the civil rights.
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