How does the case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld indicate that the rights revolution was here to stay?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The approach to the question is an interesting one.  The "rights revolution" set in the modern setting is an interesting one.  The court decision can be seen as both a landmark decision as well as one that validates the idea of a "rights revolution" because it asserted that even the most targeted of the War on Terror possesses rights that cannot be violated or vitiated by those in the position of power.  The Hamden case ends up proving that accused war criminals have rights and these rights have to be seen as sacred, even in a war.  The fact that the case centered on how the rights of the individual, in this case the car driver to Osama Bin Laden, had been violated by the zeal of the Bush Administration legal team is another example as to how this case asserts the idea of individual rights as something that cannot be reduced in any particular context, including a time of war.  The case also demonstrated how the legal standards of guilt and criminal activity must be still applied, regardless of public emotion and political expediency.  While the War on Terror is something that galvanizes individuals into action, the Court's ruling suggests that these elements of proof and legal standards cannot be minimized:

'...Hamdan stood out as being the one who had done nothing bad himself, besides being the driver to a bad guy.' That, says Katyal, contrasted with the records of others who had 'actually picked up guns, shot people, and the like.'

The rights of the accused was uphled in the Hamden case, also suggesting the potential turning point in how the War on Terror was to be seen and prosecuted in the future.

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