U.S. Citizens Have A Right To Challenge Being Held As An Enemy Combatant

2004

The U.S. government believes that Yaser Esam Hamdi, an American citizen, has taken up arms to support the Taliban, the radical regime in Afghanistan. After U.S. forces overthrow the Taliban, Hamdi is seized and detained in Guantanamo Bay, and later transferred to a prison in Charleston, South Carolina. By calling Hamdi an enemy combatant, the Defense Department asserts that it can hold him indefinitely without trial. In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the U.S. Supreme Court disagrees, finding that due process demands that any U.S. citizen held in the United States be given a meaningful opportunity to contest the basis for that detention.