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News Release
May 1, 2013

The Power of Habeas Corpus in America: From the King’s Prerogative to the War on Terror by Anthony Gregory
Pioneering New Book Weighs in on Habeas's Historical Controversies

May 1, 2013, Oakland, CA—The right not to be arrested and jailed arbitrarily is widely viewed as central to the Anglo-American legal tradition, a pillar on which our constitutional rights rest. Leading jurists have called the protection of this right—known in legal terms as a writ of habeas corpus—“the most effectual protector of the liberty of the subject that any legal system has ever devised.”

In The Power of Habeas Corpus in America, Anthony Gregory tells the story of the writ from medieval England to modern America, crediting the rocky history to the writ’s very nature as a government power. Gregory addresses its origins, the relationship between king and parliament, the U.S. Constitution’s Suspension Clause, the writ’s role in the power struggle between federal and state government, and the proper scope of federal habeas for state prisoners and wartime detainees from the Civil War and World War II to the War on Terror.

Even today, in post-9/11 America, habeas corpus proceedings reflect the prominence of government power above the principle of liberty.

“Habeas Corpus is arguably the most important tool for peacefully repelling tyranny and effectively holding the government accountable for its interferences with personal freedom… This book is so well researched and written, it will soon become the bible on all things Habeas Corpus for generations.”
—Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst, Fox News Channel

“In his insightful and timely account of habeas corpus, Anthony Gregory illuminates not only the promise, but also the limitations of what for centuries has been known as the ‘Great Writ.’ His treatment of this important subject is both eloquent and persuasive, enhancing our understanding of the relationship between law, power, and human liberty.”
—Jonathan Hafetz, Associate Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law; author of Habeas Corpus After 9/11: Confronting America’s New Global Detention System

To arrange an interview with Anthony Gregory, please contact Lindsay Boyd at 202.725.7722 or

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