The Writ of Habeas Corpus and the War on Terror
The basic right to question the government and hold it accountable is a basic hallmark of American Government. The right of the individual to question those in power, whom, according to the US Constitution, are there to represent and/or serve the public, is what makes the American construct unique. Our strength as a nation is manifested in the fact that we even treated our enemies within the rule of the law, even when the Great Writ was suspended. The Writ of Habeas Corpus which is the right to question and challenge the grounds in which our government holds a sovereign free American citizen against their will, is among our most basic fundamental rights. In the following pages, we will explore the history and what has caused us to stray from this ideal and, perhaps, instill the idea in the reader that all American citizens and aliens detained under suspicion, no matter the circumstance, must be treated justly.
History of Habeas Corpus
The right for prisoners to seek habeas corpus no matter how heinous their crime was present long before the United States was founded. In 1215, King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta by his nobility. It effectively curtailed monarchal power, and forbade people to be held simply at the whim of the king (Goldstein, 2006). One of the most important aspects of procedure for the charter was the writ of habeas corpus (Wert, 2010). Although it was, at first, only...