WASHINGTON – The Bush administration said Monday that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have no right to challenge their detentions in civilian courts and that lawsuits by hundreds of detainees should be dismissed.
The detainees are challenging the military's authority to arrest people overseas and detain them indefinitely without allowing them to use the U.S. courts to contest their detention.
Human rights groups and attorneys say that's unconstitutional. Prisoners normally have the right to challenge their imprisonment.
In court documents filed Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Justice Department said the detainees have no constitutional rights.
President Bush gave the military broad authority when he signed a law setting up special commissions to hold trials for foreigners designated as "enemy combatants." Bush hailed the law as a crucial tool in the war on terrorism and said it would allow prosecution of several high-level terror suspects.