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LegalGround >> Con Law Q regarding torture


4/16/08 3:41 PM
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WEB
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Edited: Apr 16 2008 12:00A
Member Since: 1/1/01
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From what we hear on the news the U.S. is using torture outside our definition of torture. Can the U.S. Supreme Court but in and decide what is constitutional. Or since the torture isnt being done on U.S. soil, torture from our Constitution does not apply ???
4/16/08 5:15 PM
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jbapk
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Edited: Apr 16 2008 12:00A
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Well, interesting question.

In the past, the US was bound by the various international treaties, ie Geneva in regards to torture. There was a fairly good argument that things like waterboarding are torture under Geneva.

Congress recently passed a law which states that no international law may be used as the basis for determining torture, and offered a new designation of torture to be used, which things like waterboarding likely would not be included.

I think it would be hard to argue that was unconstitutional. I suppose if it's ever determined that prisoners held at Guantanamo have 8th amendment protections the S. Ct could step in, but that still wouldn't cover Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
4/16/08 5:27 PM
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WEB
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Edited: Apr 16 2008 12:00A
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thanks, good reply
4/19/08 12:19 AM
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Shaz
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Edited: Apr 19 2008 12:00A
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I'm not sure if you're asking if they can "butt in" in terms of a sua sponte act, or by the normal process of a case through the system.  The Supreme Court doesn't issue advisory opinions, and they don't get involved in issues unless there's an actual lawsuit that has been handled by a lower court and made its way through the appeals process and is granted certiorari to be heard before the Supreme Court.  They wouldn't have original jurisdiction in these types of cases, so I don't think we'll be hearing anything from them about this stuff any time in the near future.



-Shaz!


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