Hamdan v. Rumsfeld Oral Argument
Mar 28, 2006
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Government and plaintiff attorneys presented oral arguments in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
on the constitutionality of using military commissions to try al-Qaida members accused of war crimes. Among the issues addressed were .. Read More
Government and plaintiff attorneys presented oral arguments in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on the constitutionality of using military commissions to try al-Qaida members accused of war crimes. Among the issues addressed were precedents for using military commissions and tribunals, whether a state of war existed under which war crimes could be tried, and habeas corpus.
Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemen native, served as the driver and aide to Osama Bin Laden until he was captured in Afghanistan and subsequently detained at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He filed a petition of habeas corpus to challenge his confinement. In July 2005 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against Hamdan, saying Congress had authorized the president to set up special tribunals. The court also ruled that detainees could not appeal based on violations of international treaties, such as the Geneva Conventions.
Chief Justice Roberts recused himself from this case. He heard the case while on the D.C. Court of Appeals.
This program contained audio released by the court immediately after the arguments were presented with still images of participants as they spoke.
On Thursday, June 29, 2006, the Court ruled that Congress did not take away the Court’s authority to rule on the validity of military commissions. It also held that President Bush did not have the authority to set up the tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and that military commissions are illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention.