The Law in Extraordinary Times: U.S. Detention Policy and the Supreme Court




Mason, Kathryn

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U.S. detention policy is an extremely complex and controversial topic. The policy was developed through dialogue between the judicial and legislative branches. As such, the policy was developed piecemeal over time and is not a comprehensive policy. This thesis analyzes the three major Supreme Court opinions regarding alien detainees at Guantanamo Bay—Rasul v. Bush (2004), Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), and Boumediene v. Bush (2008)—and looks at the congressional response to each decision in order to trace the development of detention policy and the clarification of the rights of detainees. In a century where wars are taking on an increasingly asymmetric character and some of the main belligerents are non-state actors, the limits on U.S. detention policy and the rights of detainees articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court affect U.S. actions far beyond the current wars.



Supreme Court., Guantanamo Bay., Detention policy.