Question 5

Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

Barack Obama

No. I reject the Bush Administration's claim that the President has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.

Hillary Clinton

No.

John Edwards

George Bush has abused our constitutional traditions in his detention policies and has created a national embarrassment at Guantanamo Bay. Judicial review ought to be restored to the process of detentions. As president, I will not detain U.S. citizens as enemy combatants without charges, and I will close Guantanamo Bay on my first day in office.

Bill Richardson

No.

Christopher Dodd

No.

Joseph Biden

No. The Supreme Court resolved this issue in a case called "Hamdi" in 2004. An American citizen held as an enemy combatant has a constitutional right to due process to determine whether his detention is legal and is adequately based on fact.

John McCain

The Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that, under the Congressional authorization of the use of force, the U.S. can hold even American citizens under the law of war if they are enemy combatants. But the Court also said that U.S. citizens must have due process to challenge their detention. And I think that is very important when it comes to American citizens.

Mitt Romney

All US citizens are entitled to due process, including at least some type of habeas corpus relief regardless whether they are designated unlawful enemy combatants or not.

Ron Paul

No.

Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani declined to answer this question.

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee declined to answer this question.

Fred Thompson

Thompson declined to answer this question.