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9/11 is still used as a referral point for politics, considered in city planning, and the topic of paperback novels. It changed the physical world as well; the skyline of New York, with its gaping hole where the Twin Towers stood, will never be the same, and monuments and memorials dot city squares and parks throughout the land.
This article addresses the legal legacy of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and related Supreme Court rulings, including the prosecution and detention of terrorism suspects; the authorization for use of military force; and the definition of "enemy combatants."
The right to privacy is under unprecedented siege due to a perfect storm: a technological revolution; the government's creation of a post-9/11 surveillance society in which the long-standing "wall" between surveillance and intelligence gathering has been dismantled; and the failure of our laws, oversight mechanisms, and judicial doctrines to keep pace with these developments.
Follow how the ABA has responded to the attacks of 9/11 in the past decade, particularly in terms of taking stances on torture and surveillance.
Due to a heightened focus on national security since the 9/11 attacks, the federal government has increased its oversight of noncitizens who seek to enter the United States and has imposed restrictions on new arrivals to the country. The government also has used immigration law and policy to detect and expel person who might engage in terrorist or criminal activity, resulting in an increase in detentions and deportations.
Although the Supreme Court since September 11 has repeatedly asserted the role of the federal courts as a means of protecting the separation of powers, the Court has seen no need to do anything more—including its refusal to review myriad lower-court decisions barring redress for some of the most serious civil liberties abuses of the past decade. As a result, the Court's jurisprudence appears to reflect a very different view of the separation of powers than the view that prevailed before the towers fell.
President Obama’s decision to have Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other alleged 9/11 co-conspirators tried by a military commission rather than in civilian federal court guarantees many more years without finality in the case.
The exaggerated risk of terrorism since 9/11 has resulted in an irresponsible amount of spending to strengthen the United States’ domestic security system, fueled in large part by a false sense of insecurity.
Ten years after 9/11, the United States lacks a durable public consensus against torture. There are five steps we can take to build that consensus: clarify the law, examine the past, hold violators accountable, compensate the victims, and win the public argument.