Pelavin: We applaud the Supreme Court’s clear statement that detainees held by the U.S. government indeed have the right to challenge their detention.
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In response to today’s Supreme Court ruling in Boumediene v. Bush affirming the right of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to challenge their detentions through a writ of habeas corpus, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
Today’s Supreme Court decision repudiates years of misguided government policy concerning detainees in the war on terror. For too long, detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center have been told that the American justice system does not apply to them, despite their incarceration by the American government. We applaud the Supreme Court’s clear statement that detainees held by the U.S. government indeed have the right to challenge their detention through a writ of habeas corpus.
With this ruling the Court has taken a major step toward strengthening the Constitutional rights callously stripped away by the 2006 Military Commissions Act and related Executive Orders. In so doing, the Court has, for the third time in four years, rebuked continued efforts by the Administration and Congress to limit the rights of those being detained at the U.S. military base.
The Union for Reform Judaism is proud to have supported Boumediene’s claim by joining an amicus brief organized by Human Rights First. The Reform Jewish Movement has long worked to ensure the protection of civil liberties, mindful of the Jewish tradition that commands us to “have one law for the stranger and citizen alike.”