Thursday, June 12, 2008

Guantanamo Terrorist suspects can challenge their detentions.

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court has ruled that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the U.S. Constitution to challenge their detention in civilian courts.

The justices, in a 5-4 ruling Thursday, handed the Bush administration its third setback at the high court since 2004 over its treatment of prisoners who are being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.

"We hold these petitioners do have the habeas corpus privilege," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court majority in the 70-page opinion.

He said that Congress had failed to create an adequate alternative for the prisoners held at the U.S. military base in Cuba to contest their detention.

It was not immediately clear whether this ruling, unlike the first two, would lead to prompt hearings for the detainees, some of whom have been held more than 6 years.

Roughly 270 men remain at the island prison, classified as enemy combatants and held on suspicion of terrorism or links to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

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