Week 5 Assignment American Government Essay

Submitted By donnav20
Words: 488
Pages: 2

As Americans, we have the rights to exercise certain fundamental civil liberties, such as the right to free speech, to exercise freedom of religion and the basic rights to due process. But, since the catastrophic events of 9/11, some of those liberties have been called into question such as who has the right to exercise habeas corpus and whether or not that right can be suspended. Habeas Corpus, also known as “the Great Writ” is, “a writ requiring a person to be brought before a judge or court, especially for investigation of a restraint of the person’s liberty, used as a protection against illegal imprisonment.” (Dictionary.com, 2014). Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution affords prisoners the right to question the legalities behind their confinement. However, being given the status of enemy combatant has allowed the government the authority to detain individuals without conferring charges or providing access to proper legal defense. The history of Habeas Corpus can be traced back to the English legal system and has suffered jurisdictional struggles since its creation, which has led to many variations. The Habeas Corpus Act of 1640 was passed in response to what is known as the Darnel Case. The Darnel case challenged the lawfulness of an executive decision by Charles I when he detained individuals for failing to provide money for the war with France and Spain. “At the time of Darnel’s Case, there was “little doubt that the sovereign had long exercised a power of arbitrary committal where there was thought to be a threat to the safety of the realm.” (Ekeland, 2005). Despite this though, judges refused to bail the prisoners, which led to the Petition of Right of 1628. This petition barred imprisonment without precise charges. However, in 1629 with total disregard to the petition, Charles I began to ignore habeas corpus, which in turn led to the passing of the Habeas Corpus Act. Unfortunately, the Habeas Corpus Act of 1640 was unsuccessful and was later replaced by the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679. The Habeas Corpus