Striking First pp 105-119 | Cite as

The Political and Legal Status of Persons in the War on Terrorism

  • Drew Noble Lanier


Three days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush declared a state of emergency in response to “the continuing and immediate threat” of additional attacks.1 On September 18, 2001, Congress passed a joint resolution (PL 107–0) noting the “acts of treacherous violence committed against the U.S. and its citizens,” and the president’s power to deter acts of terrorism against the United States.2 PL 107–40 emphasized

[t]har the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons [whom] he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.3


Civil Liberty Attorney General Justice Department United States Supreme Military Tribunal 
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  1. 1.
    George W. Bush, “Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks, Proclamation 7463,” Federal Register 66, no. 181 (2001): 48199.Google Scholar
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    George W. Bush, “Military Order of November 13, 2001: Detention, Treatment and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism,” Federal Register 66, no. 222(2001): 57833–57836.Google Scholar
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    George Lardner, “Legal Scholars Criticize Wording of Bush Order, Accused Can be Detained Indefinitely,” Washington Post, December 3, 2001, A10.Google Scholar
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    See Mark E. Neely, Jr., The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (Oxford University Press, New York), 1991; Ex parte Merryman, United States Supreme Court, 17 F. Cas. 144 (1861). This case held that the president does not have the power to suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus, only Congress may, consistent with Article I.Google Scholar
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    William Rehnquist, All Laws But One (New York: Knopf Publishing Group, 1999).Google Scholar
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    Michal R. Belknap, “A Putrid Pedigree: The Bush Administration’s Military Tribunals in Historical Perspective,” 38 California Western Law Review 433 (2002): 455.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Betty Glad and Chris J. Dolan 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Drew Noble Lanier

There are no affiliations available

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