Habeas Corpus: The Great Writ
The writ of habeas corpus—the great writ—has been a bedrock of the legal and political structure of democratic societies for centuries. How did this right, which protects individuals against unlawful imprisonment, come about, and why has it been fundamental to our democratic system? Under what circumstances has habeas corpus been challenged, suspended, or even revoked?
Three experts in the writ of habeas corpus tackle these questions while discussing the importance of the great writ during times of peril in the United States. Panelists Leigh Bienen, Joseph Margulies, and Larry Yackle comment on the current state of habeas corpus in this era of terrorism and the Patriot Act. They compare our present state to previous moments of xenophobia in the United States.