Gitmo Reax

Per our correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg, a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today may generate some reflections on last week’s Supreme Court ruling giving Guantanamo detainees the right of appeal in civilian courts. Our latest poll shows that ruling is not a popular one.

The result (which didn’t quite fit into our new political analysis, out today) finds that 61 percent of Americans oppose the high court’s ruling. That's consistent with other poll questions as far back as 2001 finding roughly six in 10 support for tribunals with no right of appeal in civilian courts.

There are substantial political, ideological, generational and educational divisions on the question. Civilian court appeals get more support from younger, highly educated (postgrad) and liberal adults; tribunals with no appeal are preferred especially by conservatives and Republicans. But only in one group - African-Americans - does a majority support civilian court appeals for Guantanamo detainees, as the Supreme Court's now ordered.

This is one of those questions (fairly unusual) in which we thought explication was needed. Asked as follows:

ABC/Post +/-3

14. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that non-citizens suspected of terrorism who are being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be allowed to challenge their detentions in the U.S. civilian court system. (Supporters of this ruling say it provides detainees with basic constitutional rights.) (Critics of the ruling say only special military tribunals should be allowed, because hearings in open court could compromise terrorism investigations.) What's your view - do you think these detainees should or should not be able to challenge their detentions in the civilian court system?

          Should   Should not   No opinion 6/15/08     34         61            6

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