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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 12:19 PM ET, 06/17/2008

SCOTUS Gitmo Ruling

Most Americans oppose last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba should be able to challenge their incarcerations in the civilian court system.

In the new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 61 percent said non-citizens suspected of terrorism should not have these rights under the U.S. Constitution; 34 percent said they should. The view that these suspects do not share these privileges cuts across party lines, with majorities of Democrats (53 percent), independents (56 percent) and Republicans (77 percent) taking that position.

But not all groups so clearly stand with the minority in the court's 5-4 split decision.

A majority of African Americans, 54 percent, said the detainees should be able to challenge their confinements. And liberals divide about evenly on the issue (48 to 47 percent) as do those younger than 30 (49 to 48 percent), in stark contrast to conservative and seniors who believe by greater than 3 to 1 margins that these suspects should not be able to test their cases in civilian courts.

Those backing John McCain in a match-up against Barack Obama are overwhelmingly against these detainee rights, while those supporting the Democrat are evenly divided (47 percent in favor; 47 percent opposed).

Complete question wording available here.

By  |  12:19 PM ET, 06/17/2008

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