Korematsu, Rasul, Al Odah, and

The Supreme Court found that the habeas corpus petition was filed improperly, and therefore the case was dismissed and all previous decisions in other courts overruled. The central issue regarding the power of the president was never decided.

Justice Stevens presented a dissent stating that the government failed to give proper notice for Padillas transfer to military custody I South Carolina. The contention is that the habeas petition would have been filed properly if counsel had been informed in a timely manner. Justice Stevens conclusion is that the habeas corpus should be treated as one filed two days earlier, because government has not followed the correct procedures in providing information to Padillas counsel.

The response to the dissent is that hypothetical events cannot be used in exercising statutory jurisdiction on the basis of misconduct by government. The dissent further contended that the Court made exceptions to the rules pertaining to immediate custodian and district of confinement. The Court however responded that this was not the case, and that the Justice was unable to cite such cases.

Finally, the dissent contested that the circumstances of the case were exceptional, and that for this reason, the dismissal is an unacceptable outcome. The response to this was that rules should be consistently applied to all cases, and that no case should be deemed sufficiently exceptional to depart from jurisdictional rules.

The decision is therefore deemed as consistent with the rules under which such decisions are made. Although this is based upon a legal technicality, decisions that are made in this way provide evidence that the Supreme Court is concerned with protecting all petitioners appearing before it in an impartial and lawful manner. Regardless of how likely guilt is, and regardless of the crime, the accused deserves the right to be heard in court and to contest any ruling against him or her.

Without the right to fair trial, the constitution of the United States will mean nothing.

The fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed to all who come to the United States and all within its borders are the principles upon which the country has been built for centuries. No war and no current national crisis should change this. Rulings such as that in the Padilla case provides a sense of justice and fairness. It must be acknowledged that the United States as a country has some way to go in terms of always being fair and impartial in their court rulings. I do however believe that at times we make the right choices, and these are what we should build upon for the future.


The Oyez Project, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004), available at: http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2003/2003_03_6696/

(last visited Friday, February 8, 2008).

The Oyez Project, Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944), available at: http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1944/1944_22/

(last visited Friday, February 8, 2008).

The Supreme Court of the United States. Khaled a.F. Al Odah et al. v. United States of America et al.; Shafiq Rasul et al. v. George W. Bush et al.; Yasir Esam Hamdi v. Donald Rumsfeld. http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/supreme_court/briefs/03-334/03-334.pet.ami.korematsu.pdf

The Supreme Court of the United States. (2003, Oct.) Rumsfeld, Sectretary of Defense v. Padilla. http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/03pdf/03-1027.pdf

The Supreme Court of the United States. (2003, Oct.) Hamdi et al. v. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense et al. http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/03pdf/03-6696.pdf.

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