Question 9

Do you agree or disagree with the statement made by former Attorney General Gonzales in January 2007 that nothing in the Constitution confers an affirmative right to habeas corpus, separate from any statutory habeas rights Congress might grant or take away?

Barack Obama

Disagree strongly.

Hillary Clinton

I disagree with Attorney General Gonzales. I have long believed that the right to habeas corpus offers fundamental protection against unchecked government power. It is a constitutionally guaranteed right. The Supreme Court should reaffirm this principle in the Boumediene case now pending and correct the mistake Congress made when it attempted to rescind habeas corpus through the Military Commissions Act.

John Edwards

I disagree.

Bill Richardson

This is clearly wrong. The Framers, in their declaration that habeas may be suspended only in cases of rebellion or invasion, made clear that the Constitution presumes the existence of the common law right to habeas corpus. Any other interpretation is sophistry.

Christopher Dodd

I Disagree. Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution confers the fundamental right of habeas irrespective of Congressional actions to statutorily expand or limit the federal role relative to the states.

Joseph Biden

I disagree categorically with Mr. Gonzales. The Constitution guarantees the right of habeas corpus unless in the case of rebellion or invasion it is suspended. My National Security with Justice Act reinforces this Constitutional right by extending by statute meaningful habeas review for all Guantanamo detainees.

John McCain

On that one, the Supreme Court just heard oral arguments in the Boumedienne case and it is expected to rule early next year on that question. So I will be interested in seeing how the Court rules.

Mitt Romney

The availability and limitation of habeas corpus is governed by current federal statutory law and the Suspension Clause of the US Constitution, Article I, § 9, cl. 2.

Ron Paul

I strongly disagree with him because I think it was absurd. If we can’t deny habeas corpus it infers that you have habeas corpus. So I would strongly disagree with his whole interpretation of habeas corpus. ... [As for whether that extends to non US citizens in US custody overseas]. I think that might depend upon the circumstances of declared war, and what the circumstances might be. ... [In the case of Guantanamo detainees,] I would think then that we should, under those circumstances, follow the principles of habeas corpus.

Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani declined to answer this question.

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee declined to answer this question.

Fred Thompson

Thompson declined to answer this question.