Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1533082
 


 



Constitutional Rights for Nonresident Aliens


Alec D. Walen


Rutgers School of Law, Camden

January 7, 2010

Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3/4, Summer/Fall 2009

Abstract:     
I argue that nonresident aliens, in places that are clearly not U.S. territory, should benefit from constitutional rights. This is a matter of mutuality of obligation. The U.S. claims the authority to hold all people accountable for respecting certain laws, such as the law of war as defined in the Military Commissions Act. Accordingly, it must accord them basic legal rights in return. At the same time, I argue, contra Benjamin Wittes, that this would not lead to absurdly opening the courthouse doors, nor does it require abandoning principle to keep the flood of litigation reasonably contained. Not all harms inflicted by the U.S. government can give rise to a lawsuit, and that the distinction between those who should have a right to sue and those who should not can be drawn in a principled way.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 6

Keywords: constitutional rights, nonresident aliens, mutuality of obligation

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Date posted: January 8, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Walen, Alec D., Constitutional Rights for Nonresident Aliens (January 7, 2010). Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3/4, Summer/Fall 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1533082

Contact Information

Alec D. Walen (Contact Author)
Rutgers School of Law, Camden ( email )
217 N. 5th Street
Camden, NJ 08102-1203
United States
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