Salim Hamdan - Supreme Court Opinion

Supreme Court Opinion

On June 29, 2006, the Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. It also considered whether the Supreme Court had the jurisdiction to enforce the articles of the 1949 Geneva convention and whether Congress had the power to prevent the Court from reviewing the case of an accused enemy combatant before it was tried by a military commission, as had happened in this case. It asserted it had that authority.

In a 5-3 plurality, the Court held that the military commissions lacked "the power to proceed because their structures and procedures violate both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the four Geneva Conventions signed in 1949." (As the US had signed them, it effectively adopted them as law.) Specifically, the Court ruled that Common Article 3 of the Third Geneva Convention was the provision violated.

In response, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006, at the request of the Bush administration, to provide the authority for the executive branch to create and operate the commissions and to respond to concerns of the Supreme Court. President George W. Bush signed it on October 17, 2006.

Hamdan's trial was scheduled to begin in June 2007.

Read more about this topic:  Salim Hamdan

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