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O'Connor says more clarity necessary in detainee rules

[JURIST] Retiring US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor [OYEZ profile] called for clearer rules regarding prisoner detention and interrogation during a speech at West Point [official website] Thursday. O'Connor said the situations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archives] reflected the confusion of soldiers and a need for guidance. The US Supreme Court has ruled that foreign-born detainees should have access to US courts [JURIST report], but O'Connor said that it was up to Congress and the President to make broad policy decisions. O'Connor spoke to 4,000 military cadets after receiving the Thayer Award [West Point backgrounder] for exemplifying the academy's "Duty, Honor, Country" motto. Earlier this month, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) [official websites] pushed forward legislation [JURIST report] calling for restrictions on the detention, interrogation and prosecution of terror suspects. A Senate amendment to a military appropriations bill is now in conference with the House; President Bush has threatened to veto the bill if it comes to him with detention and interrogation provisions. AP has more.

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