Boumediene V. Bush

Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008), was a writ of habeas corpus submission made in a civilian court of the United States on behalf of Lakhdar Boumediene, a naturalized citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, held in military detention by the United States at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps in Cuba. Guantanamo Bay is not formally part of the United States, and under the terms of the 1903 lease between the United States and Cuba, Cuba retained ultimate sovereignty over the territory, while the United States exercises complete jurisdiction and control. The case was consolidated with habeas petition Al Odah v. United States and challenged the legality of Boumediene's detention at the United States Naval Station military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as well as the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006. Oral arguments on the combined case were heard by the Supreme Court on December 5, 2007.

On June 12, 2008, Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion for the 5-4 majority holding that the prisoners had a right to the habeas corpus under the United States Constitution and that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was an unconstitutional suspension of that right. The Court applied the Insular Cases, by the fact that the United States, by virtue of its complete jurisdiction and control, maintains "de facto" sovereignty over this territory, while Cuba retained ultimate sovereignty over the territory, to hold that the aliens detained as enemy combatants on that territory were entitled to the writ of habeas corpus protected in Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution. The lower court had expressly indicated that no constitutional rights (not merely the right to habeas) extend to the Guantanamo detainees, rejecting petitioners' arguments, but the Supreme Court held that fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution extend to the Guantanamo detainees as well.

Along with Rasul v. Bush (2004), Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004), and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), this is a landmark case in the Court's detainee jurisprudence.

Read more about Boumediene V. Bush:  Background, Amicus Briefs, Aftermath, Release To France, Detainees Whose Cases Were Consolidated With Boumediene V. Bush

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