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Constitutional Law Essay

1081 words - 5 pages

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
When a U.S. citizen is labeled as an enemy combatant, is he entitled to the constitutional protections of due process?
Holding and Reasoning(O’Connor, J.)
Yes. A U.S. citizen accused of being an enemy combatant must be afforded an opportunity to be heard by a neutral decision maker. The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the right to due process under the law. Furthermore, absent suspension, all persons detained in the United States have the right to habeas corpus. This means that an individual accused of criminal activity cannot be detained indefinitely, with no trial, no counsel, and no ability to petition for freedom if he is wrongfully ...view middle of the document...

Yes. The detention of petitioners for trial by military commission does not violate the Constitution of the United States. The United States Congress and President, through the Article of War and Executive Orders, may constitutionally place unlawful combatants on trial before a military commission for offenses against the law of war. Unlawful combatants have traditionally been recognized as individuals who act as secret spies or enemy combatants without uniform who infiltrate military lines for the purpose of gaining secret information or conducting “sabotage” against a nation’s military forces. Petitioners are properly characterized as unlawful combatants because, while they are members of a sovereign nation’s military force, they acted secretly and removed their uniforms for the purpose of infiltrating and sabotaging the United States military. While lawful enemy combatants are subject to capture and detention as prisoners of war by opposing military forces, unlawful combatants are additionally subject to trial and punishment y military tribunals for violations of the law of war. The Articles of War passed by Congress specifically provide for the trial of unlawful combatants by military commission for offenses against the law of war. Additionally, the Constitution gives the President of the United States the power to wage war which Congress has declared, and to carry into effect all laws passed by Congress for the conduct of war and for the government and regulation of the Armed Forces, and all laws which pertain to the conduct of war. Thus, the President has the constitutional authority to enforce, through Executive Order, the Articles of War enacted by Congress. The Articles of War permit the trial of unlawful combatants by military commission for offenses against the law of war, and thus the Executive Order establishing these military commissions is constitutional. The petitions for habeas corpus are denied.

Korematsu v. United States

Korematsu v. United States: The Background
The trial of Korematsu v. United States started during World War II, when President Roosevelt passed Executive Order 9066 to command the placement of Japanese residents and Japanese citizens who were staying or located in the United States into special facilities where they were excluded from...

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