Resource: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld: Judicious Balancing at the Intersection of the Executive's Power to Detain and the Citizen-Detainee's Right to Due Process

By: James B. Anderson

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the United States Supreme Court held that a citizen detained by the Government as an enemy combatant is entitled under due process to a meaningful opportunity to contest the facts underlying his detention before a neutral decision-maker. The Supreme Court examined whether the Executive possessed the power to indefinitely detain United States citizens captured abroad in the midst of the War on Terror and labeled "enemy combatants" without a hearing. In finding that such a citizen-detainee was entitled to some form of impartial hearing pursuant to the Due Process Clause, the Court vacated and remanded the Fourth Circuit's decision allowing detention based on an extremely limited showing of evidence.