Party Resolutions

Resolution 2005-016: Condemning Denial of Habeas Corpus Protection

Sponsored by: Deborah Whitcomb Approved: 02/26/2006


A RESOLUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON – Condemning the Passage of Legislation Denying Habeas Corpus Protection to Guantanamo Prison Detainees

Whereas Habeas Corpus laws protect all persons from the injustice of being imprisoned without charge; and

Whereas the foundation for Habeas Corpus laws was established nearly eight centuries ago with the signing of the Magna Carta; and

Whereas the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Clause 2) states that “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.”; and

Whereas Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper 84 wrote “The establishment of the writ of habeas corpus … are perhaps greater securities to liberty and republicanism than any it [the Constitution] contains,…[The] practice of arbitrary imprisonments have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.”; and

Whereas the United States Supreme Court ruled in Rasul v. Bush, June 28, 2004 that the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay have the right to use the U.S. courts to challenge their detention; and

Whereas the United States Senate has violated one of this country’s longstanding principles by passing the Graham amendment (S. Amdt. 2516 to S. 1042), denying detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay prison their Habeas Corpus rights, the right either to have charges made against them or to be released.


Section 1. The Democratic Party of Oregon gives unconditional support to the right of Habeas Corpus, as granted in the United States Constitution. We therefore condemn the Graham amendment as a denial of one of this country’s fundamental beliefs and practices.

Section 2. Issue a press release stating the Democratic Party of Oregon’s absolute support for habeas corpus rights for ALL persons.

ADOPTED BY THE Democratic Party of Oregon on 26th day of February, 2006.

Resolution submitted by Deborah Whitcomb, Multnomah County.

Platform and Resolutions Committee recommendation: Adoption

Pulled for hearing before Platform and Resolutions Committee on Jan 8 with Sen Wyden’s Chief of Staff

Resolution reconsidered on January 8, 2006, modified and passed with a recommendation of adoption.