The Due Process Guarantee Act

07.13.12 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Due Process Guarantee Act (S. 2003) is a bill that was introduced last year by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and colleagues to explicitly prohibit the indefinite detention without trial of United States citizens who are apprehended within the United States on suspicion of terrorism.

The bill was crafted due to a residual ambiguity in last year’s defense authorization act that seemed to leave it an open question as to whether Americans could be so detained or not.

The Due Process Guarantee Act has not progressed to a vote in the House or the Senate.  But the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on it last February 29.  The full record of that hearing has recently been published.

The full hearing volume presents some new material including answers to questions for the record provided by Steven Bradbury, the former head of the Bush Administration Office of Legal Counsel.  It also includes a flinty exchange of letters between Mr. Bradbury and Sen. Al Franken, who said that Mr. Bradbury was unsuited to be be a witness before the Committee because of his “contemptible” legal advice regarding enhanced interrogation during the Bush years.

Further background related to the subject matter of the hearing can be found in Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents by Jennifer K. Elsea of the Congressional Research Service.