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CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren Denounces Mukasey Scheme to Have Congress Delay Habeas Hearings

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CONTACT: press@ccrjustice.org 

July 21, 2008, New York –  In response to leaked portions of Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s speech to be delivered this morning, Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director Vincent Warren issued the following statement:

“What Mukasey is doing is a shocking attempt to drag us into years of further legal challenges and delays. The Supreme Court has definitively spoken, and there is no need for congressional intervention.  The Supreme Court explicitly said in Boumediene that the two prior attempts by Congress to intervene to prevent detainees from having access to the courts were unconstitutional. 

“For six and a half years, Congress and the Bush Administration have done their level best to prevent the courts from reviewing the legality of the detention of the men in Guantanamo.  Congress should be a part of the solution this time by letting the courts do their job.

“The strength of this country rests on our willingness to embrace a system of justice, to allow courts to consider the facts and interpret the law.  As the most senior lawyer in the government, the Attorney General should allow justice at long last to proceed.”

CCR has led the legal battle over Guantanamo for the last six years – sending the first ever habeas attorney to the base and sending the first attorney to meet with a former CIA “ghost detainee.” CCR has been responsible for organizing and coordinating more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country in order to represent the men at Guantanamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. CCR represented the detainees with co-counsel in the most recent argument before the Supreme Court on December 5, 2007.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.