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Constitutional Law

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Submitted By joseph031909
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Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
Issue
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 imprisoned. In the case of a citizen, like Hamdi, who is alleged to be an enemy combatant and the right to habeas corpus has not been suspended, there are competing interests: on one hand, there is the individual’s personal interest in physical liberty; on the other hand, there is the government interest in the safety of the American people, and preventing enemy combatants from committing further crimes. These interests must be carefully balanced in coming to a decision about the constitutionality of detaining enemy combatants. Therefore, this court finds that a citizen-detainee must be afforded notice of the crimes with which he is charged and the factual basis for them, and he must also be given an opportunity to refute the charges before a neutral decision maker. Under these criteria, Hamdi has been denied due process, and therefore is entitled to a hearing that contains the protections of the Constitution. Vacated and remanded.

Ex parte Quirin
Rule of Law
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.
Issue...

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