Timothy Lynch ponders balancing liberty and security during a war without end where the enemy doesn’t play by the traditional laws of war.

December 10, 2007
The war on terror has presented U.S. courts with many thorny legal issues relating to civil liberties and national security. On December 5 the Supreme Court took up the case of Boumediene v. Bush, which centers on the right of “enemy combatants” being held in Guantanamo Bay to have their detention reviewed by American civilian courts. On one hand, what right does the president have to hold people indefinitely without recourse to judicial review? On the other, does the Constitution really require that everyone picked up by our military in wartime have access to our courts?

Fundamentally, how do you balance liberty and security during a war without end where the enemy doesn’t play by the traditional laws of war?

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