CAIR WELCOMES SUPREME COURT GITMO RULING
Muslim group calls decision ‘victory for objective justice,’ calls for prison to be closed
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/12/08) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today welcomed a Supreme Court ruling that gives detainees at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay the right to challenge their detentions in U.S. civilian courts.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called the decision a “victory for objective justice,” noting that the court’s decision maintains the integrity of the Constitution in overturning hastily-passed congressional legislation that provided inadequate legal recourse to detainees. Of the 5-4 decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.”
SEE: Supreme Court Backs Rights for Guantanamo Detainees (AP)
SEE ALSO: Supreme Court: Guantanamo Detainees Have Rights in Court (ABC)
Supporting constitutional principles of checks and balances, the majority opinion on Boumediene v. Bush stated: “Abstaining from questions involving formal sovereignty and territorial governance is one thing. To hold the political branches have the power to switch the Constitution on or off at will is quite another.”
In a statement, CAIR National Director Tahra Goraya said:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a victory for objective justice. Once again, the Bush administration’s weak assertion that its heavy-handed detention policy operates within the law has not found support in our nation’s highest court.
“As with the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was passed quickly without proper congressional debate. The repeated lack of appropriate legislative process and administrative double dealing has proven to be damaging to our nation.
“The prison facility at Guantanamo Bay is a legal and public relations embarrassment for our country and should be promptly closed.”
Goraya pointed to a March 2008 roundtable discussion billed as “The 16th Report of the Secretaries of State,” during which former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell advocated for the swift closing of the Guantanamo military prison.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 35 offices, chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.