CCR Condemns Dismissal of Hamdan v Rumsfeld

On December 13, 2006, the Center for Constitutional Rights Deputy Legal Director Barbara Olshansky said, “Unfortunately, Judge Robertson overlooked the primary ruling on the rights and protections guaranteed to the detainees at Guantanamo by the United States Supreme Court in its 2004 ruling in Rasul v. Bush."

She continued, "That decision held squarely that the detainees are entitled to challenge the legality of their detention in front of a court by means of the writ of habeas corpus under both the Constitution and the laws of the United States. This means that even if a law, like federal statute 28 USC 2241 has been amended by Congress-as it was in the MCA-the detainees still retain their right to challenge their imprisonment under the Constitution itself and under the common law as it has existed since the Magna Carta was handed down in 1215."

According to Wells Dixon, Human Rights Attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, "Beyond the Judge's failure to fully accept the Court's ruling in the Rasul case is the very troubling notion that any judge or any legislature anywhere would ever seek to deprive a person of that most basic of human rights - the right to personal liberty - without providing them with a fair process and unbiased judge to rule on the legality of that deprivation."

Barbara Olshansky also noted that "this is the first time in the history of this country that a court has held that a man may be held by our government in a place where no law applies." She further noted that "the Center will not stand by and watch the unraveling of human rights at the cost of individual freedom and our most fundamental democratic principles."

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


Last modified 

October 23, 2007