April 2012 Vol. 110 No. 6 THE REVIEW

Detention Debates

Deborah N. Pearlstein

Since the United States began detaining people in efforts it has characterized, with greater and lesser accuracy, as part of global counterterrorism operations, U.S. detention programs have spawned more than 200 different lawsuits producing 6 Supreme Court decisions, 4 major pieces of legislation, at least 7 executive orders across 2 presidential administrations, more than 100 books, 231 law review articles (counting only those with the word "Guantanamo" in the title), dozens of reports by nongovernmental organizations, and countless news and analysis articles from media outlets in and out of the mainstream. For those in the academic and policy communities who have followed these debates in any detail, much of Benjamin Wittes's Detention and Denial will sound familiar. You will recognize many of its arguments, recapitulated at times near verbatim, from Wittes's prior works. You will understand why, despite its relatively recent publication date, events occurring since publication — in and out of the courts — have inevitably eclipsed elements of both its descriptive and prescriptive accounts. At the same time, you will be perhaps surprised to discover that the greatest problem in U.S. detention policy in the past decade has been neither its legality nor its wisdom but rather — mammoth volumes of litigation, legislation, and literary attention notwithstanding — that "we pretend that we do not engage in detention" (p. 9).

   //  VIEW PDF
& Other Current Events

Judicial Diversity After Shelby County v. Holder

In 2014, voters in ten of the fifteen states previously covered by the Voting Rights Act ("VRA") preclearance...

Fall Submission Season

MLR’s Articles Office will open its fall submission season on Monday, August 18!  The Articles...

The Ninth Circuit's Treatment of Sexual Orientation: Defining “Rational Basis Review with Bite”

On February 10, Nevada's Democratic attorney general decided to stop defending the state's constitutional...

Inhibiting Intrastate Inequalities: A Congressional Approach to Ensuring Equal Opportunity to Finance Public Education

The United States has exhibited a strong commitment to public education throughout its history. The local...

War Is Governance: Explaining the Logic of the Laws of War from a Principal-Agent Perspective

What is the purpose of the international law on armed conflict, and why would opponents bent on destroying...
MAILING LIST
Sign Up to Join Our Mailing List