The Military Commissions Act, Coerced Confessions, and the Role of the Courts

7 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2007

See all articles by Peter Margulies

Peter Margulies

Roger Williams University School of Law

Date Written: December 20, 2006

Abstract

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) challenges a core principle of American justice: that courts should not admit evidence yielded by coerced interrogation. In deciding cases under the MCA, courts need not abandon this principle. In many cases, courts will be able to vindicate concerns under the Due Process Clause, Fifth Amendment, and Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause by invoking the MCA's requirement that admissible evidence be reliable. In other cases, courts will have to assert their supervisory power to protect the integrity of judicial proceedings. Finally, courts can rely on a pragmatic conception of the extraterritorial application of fundamental rights that extends from The Insular Cases to Justice Harlan's concurrence in Reid v. Covert and Justice Kennedy's concurrence in United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez.

Keywords: Terrorism, Constitutional Law, Human Rights

Suggested Citation

Margulies, Peter, The Military Commissions Act, Coerced Confessions, and the Role of the Courts (December 20, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=954415 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.954415

Peter Margulies (Contact Author)

Roger Williams University School of Law ( email )

10 Metacom Avenue
Bristol, RI 02809
United States

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