Detainees held for nearly six years at the Guantanamo Bay military prison got another hearing at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, but the justices appeared to remain divided about whether the prisoners deserve a more basic right to challenge their imprisonment before a judge. At issue is whether the detainees have a constitutional guarantee of the writ of habeas corpus, the ability to try to prove before an independent judge that they are being unlawfully held. If so, the court faces the question of whether the military tribunals created by the Bush administration and Congress in response to earlier Supreme Court rulings, which provide a limited role for the federal courts, are an adequate substitute. It is a case that raises questions of the separation of powers and the role of the federal courts during wartime. The scene at the court was befitting of such a moment: Protesters in orange jumpsuits demonstrated outside against Bush administration policies, and more than 70 people spent the night in line to get a place in the courtroom. Among them were 15 University of Texas law students and four faculty members. They waited 16 hours to get seats because four students helped research and write briefs used by lawyers for the detainees.
The Washington Post
Court Hears Arguments in Guantanamo Case