Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Legal Road to Guantanamo: An Introduction

With President-Elect Obama promising to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, we are on the verge of a national conversation on the matter. As my humble contribution in my humble corner of the internets, I will offer a brief history of the legal precedents that led up to the current morass. Beginning in the Civil War era, a series of Supreme Court decisions -- some franky sloppily decided -- helped get us where we are. And since my students are studying them, the work here does double duty.

A few caveats are in order. First off, there are plenty of actual experts out there who study this stuff full time. I'm not that guy. As such, I'll offer some basic outlines of the history, but don't expect the final word. Also, I'll be focusing on the legal side, but we all know some opinionating will sneak in. And of course if I actually finish this series, it may be my first.

All that said, we'll get started in the morning.