Justice Denied at Guantanamo Bay

Email a Friend
Fence line around the courtroom for the military commissions taking place at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
From and

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: 45-square-miles of complex legal questions, where the Constitution may (or may not) apply, and where, as of Wednesday, May 1st, 100 of the 166 detainees are on hunger strike. 

In 2008, in the case Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court ruled that habeas corpus -- the constitutional right to have a court decide whether one is lawfully imprisoned or detained -- must apply in all Guantanamo cases. The Bush Administration agreed to comply with the ruling, and President Obama ordered the prison closed upon taking office a few months later.

Congress refused to implement the President's plans to transfer detainees to American soil, however, and today, over four years after President Obama signed the executive order to close Guantanamo, the prison remains open. 

Jeffrey Rosen, law professor at George Washington University and legal affairs editor at The New Republic, describes the legal complexities embodied in the detention and treatment of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.