In the decade following the attacks of September 11, 2001, there has been an ongoing and important public discussion about the balance between legitimate national security concerns and individual civil liberties. In particular, the use of “waterboarding” on detained enemy combatants has stirred passionate debate.
What limits should be placed on interrogating suspected terrorists? Is torture ever appropriate? What due process rights apply to these prisoners? Are there limits to executive power in wartime?
In both the Bush and Obama administrations, such delicate and complex constitutional questions regarding executive power, the detention of enemy combatants, and habeas corpus rights have challenged the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
This timely collection of recent articles and judicial commentary provides a balance of perspectives on concrete issues under the umbrella of national security and civil liberties. It includes court judgments as well as opinion pieces both from those who believe the United States needs to be more protective of civil liberties and also from those who argue that national security concerns are paramount. It addresses some of the most hotly debated issues of the day, including the detentions at Guantanamo Bay, the use of torture, holding enemy combatants indefinitely, the question of whether terrorism suspects should be given the Miranda warnings, and the limits of executive power during wartime. To stress the importance of an impartial, independent judiciary, Richard Fybel explains the history of the German judiciary and judges during the Nazi Era.
This balanced selection of expert opinion from widely recognized and respected authors will inform and educate readers on this critical topic. It will be especially useful for undergraduate courses in political philosophy, political science, and criminal justice, as well as law school courses addressing issues of the constitutional balance of powers, national security, interrogation practices, due process and habeas corpus.
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M. Katherine B. Darmer is professor of law at the Chapman University School of Law and formerly an Assistant United States Attorney in New York, NY. She is the editor with Robert M. Baird of Morality, Justice, and the Law and with Robert M. Baird and Stuart Rosenbaum of Civil Liberties and National Security in a Post-9/11 World, and the author of a number of articles addressing interrogation practices, the Fifth Amendment, and national security.
Richard D. Fybel is an associate justice of the California Court of Appeal in Santa Ana, CA. He is also the chair of the California Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics and was formerly a judge in the Orange County Superior Court.