September 30, 2021, New York — In response to today’s hearing in Abdulrahman al-Hela v. Biden on whether a man held at Guantánamo has rights under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
Today, the court heard arguments to determine whether the government can hold someone, essentially for life, without charge or trial, based on a legal standard no more rigorous than what’s required to prove negligence in an ordinary slip-and-fall case. The governement maintains it can, and says it can do so based on evidence neither the person being detained nor his counsel has seen, in a case where the man has already been held for 17 years and the government has already concluded he should be released from a prison the president says he wants to close. The power to imprison someone indefinitely without charge or trial is nothing less than tyrannical. We hope the court will affirm Mr. al-Hela’s constitutional rights and the government will transfer him and shutter Guantánamo.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for more than 19 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country, ensuring that nearly all the men detained at Guantánamo have had the option of legal representation. Among other Guantánamo cases, the Center represents the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking justice in international courts.
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 ccrjustice.org.