Human Rights First Asks Congress to Reject Attorney General’s Rushed Plan to Obstruct the Courts in Reviewing Guantanamo Habeas Petitions

WASHINGTON— Congress should reject Attorney General Mukasey’s recently announced proposal for unnecessary legislation that would perpetuate the mistakes resulting in the prolonged and unchecked detentions at Guantanamo Bay, Human Rights First said today. Mukasey is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee today where he is expected to reiterate his proposal, announced earlier this week.

“The latest proposal from the Attorney General fits a familiar pattern: the Supreme Court rules against the Bush administration’s anti-rule of law agenda, and the Administration interprets that as a crisis that Congress must avert. Congress shouldn’t fall for it this time. Mr. Mukasey asserts that the Court left too many questions unanswered, when in reality his complaint is that the Administration doesn’t like the answers the Court gave: that no one is outside the protection our laws provide against runaway Executive power” said Elisa Massimino, Washington Director Human Rights First.

Earlier this week Attorney General Mukasey claimed that Congress must urgently act – with only weeks left in the legislative calendar – to subvert a recent Supreme Court ruling by creating new rules by which Guantanamo detainees will challenge their detention in civilian courts.

“The Attorney General’s demand that Congress constrict the courts’ habeas authority to order the release of detainees they determine the government has no lawful authority to imprison would eviscerate the recent Boumediene decision, prolong injustice and ultimately invite decisive rejection by the courts,” said Massimino.


Published on July 23, 2008


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