In a blow to Bush, the Supreme Court restores habeas corpus

The text of the court's historic decision to strike down part of the Military Commissions Act and affirm the right of Guant

By Salon Staff

Published June 12, 2008 5:15PM (EDT)

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that terrorism suspects being held by the United States in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, may challenge their detention in federal court.

By a 5-4 vote, the court said that the prisoners, foreign nationals, had been unconstitutionally denied the right to file habeas corpus petitions -- that is, the right to demand to know the reason they are being held, and challenge it. According to Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, the Constitution is "designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times." Chief Justice John Roberts was among the four dissenters. Justice Antonin Scalia, another dissenter, warned that "the nation will live to regret what the court has done today."

Three of the key pages of Kennedy's opinion follow. The full text of the decision can be downloaded in PDF form here.

Salon Staff

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