Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. U.S. in the U.S. Supreme Court. Earlier today Graham attended the Supreme Court oral arguments on these cases where lawyers for the detainees challenging their detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba argued their case.
Graham played a key role in drafting the Military Commissions Act and authored a provision which denies detainees unfettered access to sue in federal court.
“I’m cautiously optimistic the Supreme Court will not strike down the Military Commissions Act and allow Al Qaeda members the unprecedented right to bring lawsuits in our federal court system.
“Never in the history of warfare have enemy prisoners been able to bring lawsuits challenging their detention. Thousands of Germans and Japanese soldiers were captured and held by the military during World War II. Not one case was allowed in federal court where they were allowed to sue for their release.
“I’m hopeful the Court will understand the Congress has spoken loud and clear on this matter. Before the MCA was signed into law, enemy combatants were filing frivolous suits requesting better mail delivery, more exercise, judge-supervised interrogation, Internet access, the right to view DVDs and alleging medical malpractice.
“It would be a monumental mistake for the Supreme Court to give enemy combatants – members of Al Qaeda -- the same legal rights as a U.S. citizen. I hope the Court does not go down that road.”