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Homeland Security

US Supreme Court Hears Case on Guantanamo Bay Detainees

By VOA News
05 December 2007

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on the Bush administration's detention of terror suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement represented the Bush administration, which contends that foreign terror suspects captured and held outside the United States have no rights under the U.S. Constitution to appear before civilian courts.

Attorney Seth Waxman, who was a solicitor general in the Clinton administration, argued on behalf of the detainees. He said that after six years, it is time for the court to decide the legality of the detainees' confinement.

The high court has ruled against the Bush administration twice before on the controversial issue, including a 2004 opinion that said detainees have the right of habeas corpus, which is the right in the U.S. legal system to challenge their detention in court.

In 2006, the U.S. Congress, then led by President Bush's Republican Party, responded by passing a law that established military commissions to try Guantanamo detainees as enemy combatants.

A Supreme Court decision is expected by the middle of 2008.

More than 300 detainees are being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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