Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Let's hear it for the Supreme Court!"

Note: title is quotation from Tom Lehrer's song, Smut.
Court says detainees have rights, bucking Bush
By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer
12 June 2008
WASHINGTON - In a stinging rebuke to President Bush's anti-terror policies, a deeply divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign detainees held for years at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have the right to appeal to U.S. civilian courts to challenge their indefinite imprisonment without charges.
At least one analysis suggests this ruling highlights the true stakes in the upcoming Presidential election: If McCain gets to appoint next Supreme Court justice, the dissenting minority of 4 could well become the slim majority of 5.

The same AP article as cited above notes that,
In a blistering dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said the decision "will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed."
I'll note only that Scalia's objection has nothing to do with the law, and everything to do with politics. It is "situational justice" at its worst... just the thing conservatives claim to abhor.

Aside: Habeas corpus is a cornerstone of Western legal tradition, effectively marking the boundary between totalitarian regimes and those governed by the rule of law. It is the single greatest protection afforded the individual against arbitrary executive power. It is not called the Great Writ for nothing! Scalia would happily toss it in the name of expediency in the so-called Global War on Terror.

Stop the madness!

1 comment:

  1. Anyone sitting on the Supreme Court that doesn't understand the importance of Habeas Corpus should be impeached, and sent back to high school for a refresher course in Civics.