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Civil Right vs. National Security : Padilla/Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld - Case Study Example

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Civil Rights vs. National Security Case Study Padilla/ Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld [Full name] [Student Registration Number] Introduction Since the compromise of national security witnessed during the September 11 attacks on US soil, tough measures to counter terrorism continue to find their way in national security policies inside and outside the country…
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Civil Right vs. National Security Case Study: Padilla/Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld
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Download file to see previous pages Questions on the legality of the government’s actions in countering terrorism emerge in the form of compromise on civil rights and liberties that the constitution is strongly vocal in guarantee. In several cases before the courts, the federal government has been found in contravention of the provisions of the constitution, which raises questions on the practicality of providing national security without compromising civil rights (Picarelli 1). In the following discourse, two cases before the courts facilitate in the illustration of the difficulty of implementing some of the most decorated milestones that country boasts of in countering terrorism. Padilla v. Rumsfeld and Hamdi v. Rumsfeld took place in the similar period when the US was facing the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and the nation was enforcing Authorization of the Use of Military Force Act, with a series of court battles on infringement of constitutional rights. Case Summary and Facts Padilla v. Rumsfeld Jose Padilla, a US national serving in the US military operations in Pakistan during the period when 11 September 2001 terrorist attack occurred and he was taken in as a material witness. The arrest was dramatic since it took place as Padilla stepped off his flight from Pakistan on 8 May 2002, with the federal warrant of arrest for a material witness acting as the legal explanation. Details of the arrest changed and the applicant was suddenly facing charges of acting as an Al Qaeda agent. Legal position for his incarceration advanced from a material witness to “enemy combatant” and the federal government found reason for treatment of the applicant as any terrorist warranting the firmest action from the federal government such as indefinite imprisonment. It implied that the applicant could not access legal rights provided for in the Constitution while the government held the opinion that he was such a high profile threat to America’s national security (Baird, Darmer and Rosenbaum 264). Six months after his incarceration, his attorney made an application for habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York which was declined on the grounds of the authority of the president to execute the “enemy combatant” principle. As such, the court found that the war on terror was still an issue and that the court could not allow the application as it would compromise the federal government efforts to counter terrorism on American soil. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit subsequently received the appeal that found the decision of the District Court improper. The held that despite the commander-in-chief having such powers as exercised in the case, such treatment could not be meted on Americans incarcerated on American soil. Such transfer of charges from civilian to military authority without access to legal resources infringed on the constitutional rights. In the court’s ruling, Padilla was released but only from military authority to civilian custody. The case proceeded to the United States Supreme Court for determination of the matter if the Authorization for Use of Military Force from Congress was an applicable as the circumstances of the case proved. In the appeal, the matter before court ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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