Date: March 31, 2005
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K
Description: This report provides background information regarding the cases of two U.S. citizens deemed “enemy combatants,” Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been returned to Saudi Arabia, and Jose Padilla, who remains in military custody. A brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals is offered, followed by brief analyses of the main legal precedents invoked to support the President’s actions, as well as Ex parte Milligan, which some argue supports the opposite conclusion. The report concludes that historically, even during declared wars, additional statutory authority has been seen as necessary to validate the detention of citizens not members of any armed forces, casting in some doubt the argument that the power to detain persons arrested in a context other than actual hostilities is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department