Habeas Corpus

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OK, so there's this thing called the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Lots of people went crazy about it because it suspended the right to appeal for alien enemy combatants.

Except no, it didn't. And I still see people saying that it did.

The MCA only suspended appeals for alien enemy combatants except as provided by Section 1005 of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, which says, essentially, that alien enemy combatants have the right to appeal their status determination -- whether it was correct according to policy, law, the Constitution, and the facts -- to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

There is one catch, that I can find: if you are awaiting your final status determination, you don't get to appeal under Section 1005 of the DTA (since it only applies once the final determination has been made), and you are also forbidden any other appeal under the MCA (which apply specifically to those who have their final determination as enemy combatant, or are awaiting it). I wonder if there is some other place where the government is required to come up with a status determination within a specific time period, because if not, someone could be held in that limbo indefinitely, without any access to courts.

However, other than that question mark, the rest is quite clear: if you are an alien enemy combatant, you can file an appeal in U.S. Court. If you are not (including if you were, but no longer are, having won your appeal), then you have full access to the courts.

Hysteria is fun! Facts are boring! slashdot.org

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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