Remarks Prepared for Delivery By Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Rese

WASHINGTON , July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following are remarks prepared for delivery by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey : Highlights: -- "Today, I would like to discuss one particular institutional challenge that we...


WASHINGTON , July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following are remarks prepared for delivery by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey :

Highlights:

-- "Today, I would like to discuss one particular institutional challenge that we still face--the continued detention of enemy combatants after the Supreme Court's recent decision in Boumediene v. Bush. In that decision, the Court ruled that the 275 or so enemy combatants detained at Guantanamo Bay have a constitutional right to challenge their detention in federal court through petitions for habeas corpus. The Supreme Court said explicitly, however, that it was not deciding questions relating to how those habeas corpus proceedings must be conducted."

-- "The responsibility of moving forward rests with the Legislative and Executive Branches as much as it does with the judiciary. This reality follows from the Boumediene decision itself: Although the Supreme Court settled the constitutional question of whether the Guantanamo detainees have the right to habeas corpus, the Court stopped well short of detailing how the habeas corpus proceedings must be conducted. In other words, the Supreme Court left many significant questions open, and it is well within the historic role and competence of Congress and the Executive Branch to attempt to resolve them."

-- "Unless Congress acts, the lower federal courts will determine the specific procedural rules that will govern the more than 200 cases that are now pending. With so many cases, there is a serious risk of inconsistent rulings and considerable uncertainty. . . . [W]ithout guidance from the Congress, different judges even on the same court will disagree about how the difficult questions left open by Boumediene should be answered. Such disagreement will, in turn, lead to a long period of protracted litigation--with the possibility of different procedures being used in different cases--until, perhaps, the Supreme Court intervenes yet again."

-- "But uncertainty is not the only, or even the main, reason these issues should not be left to the courts alone to resolve. There is also the question of which branches of government are best suited to resolve them. . . . Congress and the Executive Branch are affirmatively charged by our Constitution with protecting national security, are expert in such matters, and are in the best position to weigh the difficult policy choices that are posed by these issues. Judges play an important role in deciding whether a chosen policy is consistent with our laws and the Constitution, but it is our elected leaders who have the responsibility for making policy choices in the first instance."

-- "So today, I am urging Congress to act - to resolve the difficult questions left open by the Supreme Court. I am urging Congress to pass legislation to ensure that the proceedings mandated by the Supreme Court are conducted in a responsible and prompt way and, as the Court itself urged, in a practical way. I believe that there are several principles that should guide such legislation."

-- "First, and most important, Congress should make clear that a federal court may not order the Government to bring enemy combatants into the United States . There are more than 200 detainees remaining at Guantanamo Bay , and many of them pose an extraordinary threat to Americans; many already have demonstrated their ability and their desire to kill Americans."

-- "Second, it is imperative that the proceedings for these enemy combatants be conducted in a way that protects how our Nation gathers intelligence, and what that intelligence is. We simply cannot afford to reveal to terrorists all that we know about them and how we acquired that information."

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