“The United States Supreme Court rendered a decision yesterday that I think is one of the worst decisions in history,” he told about 1,500 people attending a town hall-style meeting in the Burlington County College gymnasium in Pemberton, N.J.WHAT? Habeas corpus means you get to know what you've been arrested for, not what you prefer for dinner.
Mr. McCain was one of the chief architects in the Senate of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which stripped the federal courts of the right to hear detainees’ habeas corpus petitions -– a provision the court on Thursday declared unconstitutional.
Mr. McCain, who on Thursday after the decision said he could not comment until he had read it, went at it again, speaking to reporters after the town hall meeting.
“I think that it opens up a whole new chapter and interpretation of our constitution,” he said. “It says that people who are not citizens of this country and are enemy combatants, some of them still ardently seeking to destroy the United States of America and all that we stand for and believe are now granted habeas corpus rights.”
He predicted the decision would result in a host of frivolous lawsuits from detainees demanding special diet requests or reading materials. Those cases, he lamented, would be heard by “civilian judges with no military background or expertise.”
Also known as "The Great Writ," a writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum is a summons with the force of a court order addressed to the custodian (such as a prison official) demanding that a prisoner be brought before the court, together with proof of authority, allowing the court to determine whether that custodian has lawful authority to hold that person, or, if not, the person should be released from custody.