But the Great Writ
, aside from the vagaries and inconsistencies that have accompanied its practice and development--apart from the centralizing and hypocritical power that has often employed it for the centralizer's own advantage--has unmistakable significance for how we view ourselves as a society and for the types of principles we claim as defining our civilization.
of the Great Writ
has received a significant amount of attention in
Unlike the Great Writ
, with its basis in separation of powers, the statutory writ of habeas corpus was all about federalism.
While the Court has always paid homage to the Great Writ
, it can now fully recognize the common law writ's core value and purpose by declaring unconstitutional the judicial review provisions of the 1996 immigration acts, should they be construed to limit review solely to constitutional claims.
It is known as "the Great Writ
," an inheritance from the Magna Carla and British common law that formally was established in the American colonies in the 1690s.
Dating back to the Magna Charta, the Great Writ
of Habeas Corpus has been recognized as one of the chief, if not the chief, safeguard in common law against the arbitrary imprisonment of citizens by a despot.