Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the War on Terror

Write an essay about the right of habeas corpus in the context of the war on terror. Your essay should address
the following subtopics:
The general meaning of the right of habeas corpus in the U.S. Constitution and its relationship to the
protection of other civil liberties.
The historical evolution of habeas corpus, including its English and American traditions.
Examples from U.S. history of the “suspension” of habeas corpus and their applicability to the present.
The relevance of habeas corpus to the contemporary U.S. situation during the war on terror, especially with
respect to persons characterized by the President as “enemy combatants” or “illegal combatants.”
The U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the right of habeas corpus with respect to “enemy combatants” or
“illegal combatants” (i.e., the views of the five justices making up the majority in Boumediene v. Bush as
well as the views of the four dissenting justices).
Your evaluation of various perspectives on this topic expressed by justices of the Supreme Court, leaders in
other branches of government, and commentators in both the academic and popular media. Your assessment should
consider several perspectives on this topic, including :
The role of the President as commander-in-chief.
The role of Congress in determining when habeas corpus can be “suspended.”
The role of the Supreme Court in protecting civil liberties, including the judicial philosophy which should
guide the Court in this role, and
Your personal philosophy, values or ideology about the balance between civil liberties and national security
in the context of an unending war on terror.



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