RESOLUTION REGARDING ENEMY COMBATANTS
WHEREAS, in response to the events of September 11, 2001, Congress enacted a Joint Resolution (Public Law 107-40) on September 18, 2001, authorizing the President "to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or person;" and
WHEREAS, two United States citizens, Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla, have been designated "enemy combatants" allegedly pursuant to the Joint Resolution and have been detained incommunicado without access to counsel or meaningful judicial review; and
WHEREAS, the President and the Department of Justice maintain that such "enemy combatants" may be detained indefinitely and have no right under the laws and customs of war or the Constitution to meet with counsel concerning their detention; and
WHEREAS, neither the Joint Resolution authorizing the use of force nor any law enacted in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have addressed the detention of United States citizens as "enemy combatants;" and
WHEREAS, the American Bar Association created a Task Force on Treatment of Enemy Combatants which presented a preliminary report on August 8, 2002 and a final report and recommendations which were adopted by the ABA House of Delegates on February 10, 2003.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association endorses the following recommendations of the ABA Task Force:
1) That U.S. citizens and residents who are detained within the United States based on their designation as "enemy combatants" be afforded the opportunity for meaningful judicial review of their status, under a standard according such deference to the designation as the reviewing court determines to be appropriate to accommodate the needs of the detainee and the requirements of national security;
2) That such persons designated as "enemy combatants" not be denied access to counsel in connection with the opportunity for such review;
3) That Congress, in coordination with the Executive Branch, establish clear standards and procedures governing the designation and treatment of U.S. citizens, residents, or others who are detained within the United States as "enemy combatants;" and,
4) That in setting executing national policy regarding detention of "enemy combatants," Congress and the Executive Branch should consider how the policy adopted by the United States may affect the response of other nations to future acts of terrorism.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes the Chancellor to take all necessary steps to publicize the Association's position as reflected in this Resolution and to inform the President, the Attorney General, the Congress and other officials of the importance of establishing standards for the designation of "enemy combatants" and procedures for meaningful judicial review of such status including access to counsel for such review of their status.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: FEBRUARY 26, 2004