Reviving Military Courts for Guantanamo Detainees

facebook twitter google print email

Dr. Kermit Roosevelt
Professor of Law
University of Pennsylvania

• Researches and teaches constitutional law and conflict of laws

“I think restoring military commissions is a bad idea. The commissions were intended to allow an end-run around the Constitution, just like Guantanamo, and, if we believe in the rule of law as a nation, we should not go back to that idea. We should not take shortcuts in order to guarantee convictions or because our mistreatment of detainees has made their prosecution more difficult. Whether the government should have authority to detain people on the grounds that they are dangerous, or effectively enemy soldiers, is different question. The military commissions are designed to administer punishment for past conduct, and, as far as that is concerned, we should not be cutting corners.