Cornell Law Review Volume 91 Issue 2

AEDPA: The “Hype” and the “Bite”

On April 24, 1996, President Clinton signed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA). Thus, the AEDPA era began. While Clinton’s presidential signing statement paid lip service to meaningful federal court review of state court convictions, AEDPA’s supporters knew better. The fix was in, and happy habeas days were here again. Gone were the years of waiting […]

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World Habeas Corpus

Habeas corpus has played an essential part in many of the great controversies that have marked major constitutional tensions throughout U.S. history. Presidential and congressional powers were tested in the Civil War period in Ex parte Merryman and Ex parte McCardle. In 1908, federal judicial power to prevent unconstitutional action by state officers-of great significance to this day in assuring the […]

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Deportation and the War on Independence

Debates over judicial independence have been with us for centuries and are not likely to go away soon.  A vast literature on the subject has accumulated, largely in discrete clumps segregated by type of judgeship.  In the United States, for example, separate bodies of writing examine the independence of federal Article III judges, the judges […]

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Hamdi’s Habeas Puzzle: Suspension as Authorization?

Cases involving the executive detention of individuals outside the criminal justice system implicate the “historical core” of the write of habeas corpus.  Yet there persists in this area a remarkable amount of uncertainty and disagreement over fundamental questions concerning the nature of habeas corpus and its place in our constitutional system.  The phenomenon is especially […]

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Immigration Law and Federal Court Jurisdiction Through the Lens of Habeas Corpus

The role of habeas corpus in immigration law underwent two major transformations from 1996 to 2005.  In 1996, Congress changed the process whereby a noncitizen could appeal an order that he be removed from the United States.  These 1996 statutory amendments, as interpreted by the federal courts, including the Supreme Court in its 2001 decision […]

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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 […]

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State Convicts and Federal Courts: Reopening the Habeas Corpus Debate

I know what you are thinking.  Of all the things that can conceivably happen in this field, the least likely (the very least likely) is that Congress will take a fresh look at federal habeas corpus for state prisoners.  It was only in 1996 that Congress enacted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), which […]

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Courts at War

From the initial returns, one might believe that during its 2003-04 Term the Supreme Court dealt the Bush Administration a defeat in the war on terrorism.  Two cases, both handed down in the last few days of the Term, seemed to give rise to the popular notion that the judiciary had thoroughly rebuked the executive […]

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