[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter [official website] opens hearings Wednesday on the legal rights of detainees [SJC agenda] held by the US at Guantanamo Bay. Part of the agenda for the hearings is to examine the due process rights of the prisoners and the authority held by Congress to make certain they receive the necessary legal representation. An aide to Specter says the Pennsylvania senator wants to investigate how to make the detention and interrogation process more transparent without negatively affecting national security. The hearing comes after reports of prisoner mistreatment [JURIST news archive], high-level calls for the facility's closure [JURIST report], and a 2004 Supreme Court ruling [Rasul v. Bush, PDF text] holding that detainees had the right to challenge their detentions in federal court. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.