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The Writ of Habeas Corpus

What it is, why it's important, and under what circumstances it can be denied?

By
Michael W. Flynn
4-minute read

The main reason that habeas corpus is important today is the same reason that it has been important for its 800 year history: it prevents the government from imprisoning you without proving that it has some reason. Without habeas corpus, the government might be free to throw you in jail for no reason, and then not have to answer for it. It fundamentally requires the state to justify its actions. Its current application to detainees, enemy combatants, prisoners, however classified still asks the question of, what do we want the government to be able to do without justifying its actions in a court, and when can it do so?

That question cannot be answered in this short podcast, and will not be answered definitively for years to come. The Supreme Court currently has several cases on this issue, and all we can do is wait and see what happens.   

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