When President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) into law, it was a gross usurpation of powers by the Executive branch. Unfortunately, members of Congress allowed the usurpation to take place when both the House (by a vote of 250-170) and Senate (by a vote of 65-34) passed the legislation.
One component of the bill authorizes the president to suspend the right of habeas corpus – the Constitutionally-guaranteed right that allows a prisoner to request the reason for his/her incarceration from a lawful judge. The right to habeas corpus is clearly defined in Article 1, Section 9, of the U.S. Constitution: “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”
The MCA, however, slaps the Constitution in the proverbial face by denying that right to certain persons detained.