Abstract

Is the term enemy combatant an established legal category of persons under international law? Has the President exceeded his constitutional authority in classifying United States citizens who are suspected terrorists as enemy combatants? In 2018 a U.S. citizen was released after being held for 13 months as an enemy combatant. He was detained without being charged with a crime and without the ability to challenge the legality of his detention. This thesis serves two purposes. First, it will seek to trace the history of the term enemy combatant and highlight the evolution of its use by the executive branch. This thesis then examines whether the executive has exceeded his constitutional authority to classify a United States citizen as an enemy combatant. While most of the literature focuses on the treatment and detention of enemy combatants, existing scholarship largely overlooks the issue of authority to classify enemy combatants. This thesis will argue that the executive is overstepping the boundaries of its presidential power when the executive branch creates the criteria (a legislative function) for enemy combatants and applies the criteria in the classification of enemy combatants (a judicial function). This qualitative study will use normative legal research focusing on the principles of the law in classifying a suspected terrorist as an enemy combatant as well as the legal history of the term. The analysis of the legal history of the term enemy combatant will be completed by content analysis using Nvivo 12 software of various government documents as well as case studies of enemy combatant cases.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2019

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Merriam, Eric

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

School of Policy, Society, and International Affairs

Degree Program

Political Science

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0007448

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0007448

Language

English

Release Date

May 2019

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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