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Crafting Policies for the Guantánamo Bay Detainees: An Interbranch Perspective
DePaul Rule of Law Journal (2010)
  • Dante B. Gatmaytan
This article examines the evolution of the rights of prisoners of the war on terror, namely those detained in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. President George W. Bush attempted to create a legal regime in which detainees would be placed beyond the protection of the Constitution and international laws. The detainees eventually challenged this policy, filing suits in federal courts and triggering a policy dialogue at the national level. In the span of seven years, the Supreme Court promulgated four decisions and Congress enacted two laws that together shaped the rights of the detainees. This article will feature an analysis of the Guantánamo Bay policy from an interbranch perspective—the view that policy making is produced not from the acts of any single branch of government but from the interaction of its branches. This study, therefore, examines the conditions that encouraged the President to centralize powers in the executive branch and the manner in which other branches of government responded. This is the first time that the interbranch perspective will be studied in the context of civil liberties and national security issues, and it will shed light on whether attempts at interbranch dialogue have lead to a policy impasse. This article concludes that the Supreme Court has assumed a democracy-promoting role, inviting Congress to take a larger role in policymaking and urging the executive to adhere to congressional strictures. Rather than an impasse, the acrimonious dialogue regarding the rights of detainees may in fact be a sign that interbranch policy-making was genuinely at play.
  • judicial review,
  • war on terror,
  • policy-making
Publication Date
Fall 2010
Citation Information
Dante B. Gatmaytan. "Crafting Policies for the Guantánamo Bay Detainees: An Interbranch Perspective" DePaul Rule of Law Journal (2010)
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