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Detention of American Citizens as Enemy Combatants

Detention of American Citizens as Enemy Combatants

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Published by Chuck Achberger

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Published by: Chuck Achberger on May 06, 2011
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05/16/2012

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The Department of Justice reads the Hamdi decision as supporting its reliance
primarily on two cases to support its contention that the Constitution permits the
detention without criminal charge of American citizens under certain circumstances.
The government argues that the 1942 Supreme Court decision in Ex parte Quirin (the
German saboteurs case) and the 9th

Circuit case In re Territo, read together, permit
the government to hold American citizens as “enemy combatants,” regardless of their
membership in any legitimate military organization. Others, however, distinguish
those cases as dealing with occurrences during a war declared by Congress and
involving members of the armed forces of hostile enemy states, and further argue that
the Civil War case Ex parte Milligan forecloses this theory.

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