Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007
The bill was sponsored by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy and (formerly) Republican Senator Arlen Specter. Specter joined the Democrats in supporting the bill, which the Committee passed on a vote of 11 to 8, without debate. The bill would restore the right for Guantanamo captives to access the US court system under the principle of habeas corpus, a right that had been stripped from them by the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
The Act was attached, as an amendment, to a Defense bill. On September 19, 2007, the Senate voted on a cloture motion for including the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act as an amendment to the FY 2008 Defense Department Authorization bill. The final vote was 56-43, just four votes short of overriding the Republican filibuster. Every Democrat voted for the bill as well as six Republicans. Those Republicans were Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), John Sununu (R-N.H.), and Arlen Specter (R-Penn.), who sponsored the bill. The only non-Republican who voted against the bill was Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.).
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) stated that the Senate's passage of the Military Commissions Act, which suspended habeas corpus for detainees, "calls into question the United States' historic role of defender of human rights in the world. It accomplishes what opponents could never accomplish on the battlefield, whittling away our own liberties."
- Military Police: Enemy Prisoners of War, Retained Personnel, Civilian Internees and Other Detainees
- Guantanamo Bay captives habeas corpus
- Caitlin Price (June 7, 2007). "Senate committee supports restoring habeas rights to Guantanamo detainees". The Jurist. Retrieved 2007-06-08.
- Statement of Sen. Specter on behalf of himself and Senator Leahy introducing HCRA on December 5, 2006
- Ari Melber, "Senate Begins Real Push on Habeas Corpus", The Nation blog, June 7, 2007
- Amnesty International page on HCRA
- Jeannie Shawl (June 29, 2007). "Supreme Court to hear Guantanamo Bay detainee habeas cases". The Jurist. Retrieved 2007-06-29.
- "Justice for Detainees: Congress can right a wrong in the war on terrorism". Washington Post. September 18, 2007. p. A18. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
- Weisman, Jonathan (September 20, 2007). "GOP Blocks Bid on Rights Of Detainees". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
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