Cornell Law Review Volume 91 Issue 2

The Limits of Habeas Jurisdiction and the Global War on Terror

As the United States continues to prosecute its war on terrorism at home and abroad, questions will inevitably arise about the jurisdiction of the federal courts to consider challenges to military detention and interrogation overseas. In Rasul v. Bush, the Supreme Court declared that federal courts may entertain the claims of those detained
at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but it said little about the scope and limits of its jurisdictional holding. Reports indicate that the United States may be detaining and interrogating suspected members of al Qaeda at locations around the world, perhaps through cooperative arrangements with other governments. Rasul’s emphasis on the degree to which the United States exercises broad, day-to-day control over Guantanamo Bay and over the immediate custody of the detainees held there, however, leaves open the possibility that federal jurisdiction may not extend to many of these U.S. detention and interrogation centers elsewhere in the world.


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