“Prolonged Detention” Would Continue Ruinous Policies of Guantanamo, Says Constitution Project

Nation needs to return to the rule of law

CONTACT: Matthew Allee, (202) 580-6922 or mallee@constitutionproject.org

WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution is scheduled to hold a hearing titled “The Legal, Moral, and National Security Consequences of ‘Prolonged Detention.’” President Obama raised the possibility of a “prolonged detention” policy in his address to the nation on national security issues last month. The Constitution Project calls on Congress to restore the rule of law and oppose indefinite detention without charge for suspected terrorists.

The following can be attributed to Virginia Sloan, president of the Constitution Project:

“Guantanamo Bay and the detention policies developed there have betrayed our nation’s commitment to the rule of law and damaged our standing in the world. The detention facility must be closed and the policies ended. Whatever we call it, any new or continued system for indefinitely detaining suspected terrorists without charge undermines the fundamental principles enshrined in our Constitution and will continue to make our nation less safe.

“We applaud Senator Feingold for holding today’s hearing, and call on the Senate to oppose any ‘prolonged detention’ policy proposed by President Obama. Importing a system of preventive detention from Guantanamo would condemn us to repeat the mistakes of our recent history. What our nation needs instead is a recommitment to the rule of law.”

The Constitution Project’s Liberty and Security Committee released a report, “A Critique of ‘National Security Courts,’” objecting to the policy of indefinite or preventive detention. The report was updated in March to include endorsements from additional former federal judges and prosecutors, and from supporting organizations. Click here to see the report.

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