The power of the president in a post-9/11 world

April 5, 2012

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(AP/Brennan Linsley)
Thus far, President Obama has failed to follow through on promises made regarding rights of Gitmo detainees.

In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Guantanamo Bay detainees had the right to challenge “the legality of the Executive’s potentially indefinite detention.” Immediately after, queries and pro bono offers from attorneys flooded into groups like the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). Lawyers and advocates for Guantánamo Bay detainees thought President Obama’s election would solve the big problems with the system. Nearly four years after Obama’s inauguration, the opposite has occurred. Detainee rights have tightened. Jack Goldsmith served as the assistant attorney general in the office of legal counsel during the Bush administration. He’s currently a law professor at Harvard University and author of  Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11. He tells Worldview how the judicial system has wavered amidst changing social pressures, civil liberties and presidents.