WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Supreme Court announced its decision in Boumediene v. Bush, in which the Court found that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have constitutional rights to challenge their detention in American courts and that the system used to classify detainees as enemy combatants and to review those decisions is inadequate:
“Today’s decision represents yet another rebuke of the Administration’s deeply legally flawed process of detaining and trying enemy combatants. As Justice Kennedy wrote for the Court: ‘The laws and the Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.’
“Thomas Jefferson once referred to habeas corpus rights as ‘one of the essential principles of our government,’ and we owe it not only to detainees but to ourselves as well, to ensure that we are living up to the values and beliefs for which our country stands.
“Without question, our nation – and the world – fundamentally changed on the morning of September 11, 2001. And there is no doubt that our highest duty as Members of Congress is to keep this great country and its citizens safe from harm. But in the pursuit of those who would do us harm, we must not sacrifice the very ideals that terrorists seek to destroy.
“I commend the Court for this important and timely decision.”