SCOTUS: Hamdan ruling due any minute (Held: Bush overstepped authority; Geneva Conventions apply)

posted at 9:10 am on June 29, 2006 by Allahpundit

Got an honest-to-goodness landmark decision coming down within the next few hours. Will it be military tribunals or federal district court for the Gitmo gang? SCOTUSblog holds a finger to the wind and says a storm’s a-comin’.

If they’re right, it’ll probably shake out 5-3, with Scalia, Thomas, and Alito in dissent. (Roberts took part in the case at the circuit-court level so he’s recused himself.) As the senior member of the majority, Stevens gets to assign the opinion; this one’s big enough that he’ll probably take it himself, but there’s a small chance he’ll hand it off to Kennedy, as he’s done with some of the gay-rights cases over the past ten years. His strategy is to tie Kennedy, the swing vote, to the decision by making him put his name on it. It makes it harder for him to change his mind later when new cases in this line come up.

Silver lining? Is this Stevens’s last hurrah? He’s 86 and looking at two and a half years before a Democrat can appoint his successor. Why not go out with a bang with Hamdan? It’lll cement his “legacy” among the left, like Elway quitting after winning the Super Bowl. Plus, it’s the last day of the term, a time when Justices often announce their retirements. (O’Connor waited a week last year before quitting on July 1.)

Bonus silver lining! Imagine the looks on nutroots faces were Hamdan to come out in their favor — followed a few hours later by news that Stevens is riding off into the sunset. That would almost make it worth losing. “Shane! Come back, Shane!

Questioning the timing: Would the midterm elections factor into his retirement decision? If he quits over the summer, the Republicans would want to hold hearings and confirm his successor before the new, possibly Democratic Senate is seated in January. The current Democratic leadership naturally would want to delay and obstruct until after the election. The vacancy would also become a huge election issue, which I doubt Stevens wants to see happen. Figure if he’s going to quit, then, it’ll be after the fall term, not this one.

If Bush does have to deal with a Democratic Senate (or at least a more Democratic Senate, which is almost certain), would he try to replace Stevens with Luttig? Luttig, remember, is a hardline conservative who fell out with the administration over … detainment of enemy combatants. That would be a point in his favor before the Democrats, as would the symmetry of him replacing the author of the Hamdan opinion on the Court. And Bush could point to the appointment as proof that he respects judges who disagree with him.

Or, maybe Stevens isn’t retiring and our side won in Hamdan. Anyway, speculation is fun!

Update: The boss is getting bad vibes, too.

Update: Just across at Fox and CNN: Court rules Bush “overstepped his authority.” 5-3 decision, written by Stevens, Kennedy the defector from the conservative side. As expected. Holding: the Geneva Conventions must apply to the proceedings.

Update: Andy McCarthy predicted it, and says it comes down to this:

[I]t seems like there’s a prevailing view that if — as expected — the decision comes out in favor of Hamdan, the theory will be that al Qaeda does have Geneva Convention protections.

Make no mistake: if this happens, the Supreme Court will have dictated that we now have a treaty with al Qaeda — which no President, no Senate, and no vote of the American people would ever countenance. (Compare this.) The Constitution consigns treaty-making to the political branches, not the courts, but a conclusion that Geneva protects Hamdan (and, by extension, his fellow savages) would ominously mean that the courts, under the conveniently malleable guise of “customary international law” can rewrite treaties to mean whatever they like them to mean.

Update: What to make of this? From SCOTUSblog:

The Court expressly declared that it was not questioning the government’s power to hold Salim Ahmed Hamdan “for the duration of active hostilities” to prevent harm to innocent civilians. But, it said, “in undertaking to try Hamdan and subject him to criminal punishment, the Executive is bound to comply with the Rule of Law that prevails in this jurisdiction.”

So if they try him, they have to take him to federal court — but they don’t have to try him? What?

Update: Alito, Scalia, and Thomas all wrote separate dissents, which suggests some pretty serious outrage. I’ll have the links once the opinions are up.

Update: According to SCOTUSblog, Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Souter joined Breyer in saying:

The Court’s conclusion … “ultimately rests upon a single ground: Congress has not issued the Executive a ‘blank check.’… Indeed, Congress has denied the President the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here. Nothing prevents the President from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary.

They can try them in military tribunals, in other words. They just can’t do it on the say-so of the president alone.

Update: Marty Lederman of SCOTUSblog thinks the decision is huge — and not for anything it has to say about tribunals.

The Court appears to have held that Common Article 3 of Geneva aplies to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today’s ruling. The commissions are the least of it. This basically resolves the debate about interrogation techniques, because Common Article 3 provides that detained persons “shall in all circumstances be treated humanely,” and that “[t]o this end,” certain specified acts “are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever”—including “cruel treatment and torture,” and “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.” This standard, not limited to the restrictions of the due process clause, is much more restrictive than even the McCain Amendment.

Is Lederman overstating things? Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog points out that “Kennedy’s opinion did not support all of Stevens’ discussion of the Geneva Convention, but he did find that the commissions were not authorized by military law or that Convention.” Any part of the majority opinion that Kennedy didn’t sign on to has no precedential value.

Update: The opinions have been posted. I’m off to skim.

Update: Bush has a press conference with Koizumi coming up at 11:30. He might deflect questions about the ruling on grounds that they’re still looking at the decision. If anything interesting is said, I’ll have video.

Update: The ACLU rejoices.

Update: Think Progress thinks the decision spells doom for the warrantless wiretap program. Interesting point.

Update: Video of Bush’s press conference is here. The Times reports that Justice Thomas was sufficiently piqued that he read his dissent from the bench — the first time he’s done so in fifteen years on the Court.

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This is a pivital moment in the direction of the War against Islamic Fascists..

Rumors are that since Justice Roberts had to recuse himself (For ruling at the appelant level) that a 4 to 4 tie (4 Real American Judges versus 4 Communist Terror/Child Molester Loving Judges) will be broken when Justice Kennedy is going to jump and side with Al-Qaeda, thus pretty much give any terrorist caught anywhere a court appointed (American Tax Payer Funded Fleet of lawyers) and we spend 5-10 million (or more) a piece convicting them in American courts and opening up our spy agencies to the world with testimony, and identifying our undercover agents and those assisting us overseas. It will be Ugly!!!

havok on June 29, 2006 at 9:39 AM

Today, Scotus will decide if we become French.

Hening on June 29, 2006 at 10:05 AM

I can’t wait to see how they figured that Hamdan is entitled to GC protections.

Pablo on June 29, 2006 at 10:16 AM

This just means less terrorists will be caught and more will be shot on sight.

p0s3r on June 29, 2006 at 10:31 AM

the fact that an anonymous poster can malign 4 judges as child-molester-lovers w/o anyone calling him/her on it kind of shows you how ridiculous this site is, no? i wonder, havok, whether you could have graduated from h.s. let alone passing the bar exam.

sgtjivanelli on June 29, 2006 at 10:32 AM


shooter on June 29, 2006 at 10:34 AM

No it just shows how absolutely FURIOUS and sick of the BULL from the looney left are.


RobertHuntingdon on June 29, 2006 at 10:37 AM

sgtjivanelli on June 29, 2006 at 10:32 AM
You seem a bit anonymous yourself, mr rightoueness…
Do you preach free speech on the other sites?
This site is called HOTAIR!

shooter on June 29, 2006 at 10:37 AM

Ummm, sgtjivanelli, aren’t YOU calling havok on it?
Good, then posting is working. Also, you made this observation less than an hour after the posting started, come on.

Also, is it necessary that one pass the bar before posting? If so, I am in violation of posting rules.

HH on June 29, 2006 at 10:44 AM

Some say the Iran-Contra scandal was Ronald Reagan’s greatest blunder as president.

It’s clear, though, that appointing Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court takes that prize.

Slublog on June 29, 2006 at 10:46 AM

Andy McCarthy nails this in his Corner posting – a portion above in an update. Read the entire post.

Not only is this a case where the USSC overstepped it’s bounds (remember, it’s part of a co-equal branch of government) – but it seems as if the basis for the decision was more politically based than legally based. It defies logic that those who are clearly, by actions, are ‘illegal combatants’ under the GC, are suddenly classified as “POWs” as far as the US is concerned (while the terrorists are free to continue to operate as terrorists and illegal combatants).

The USSC isn’t infallible – and they’ve made some historically bad decisions. This is just another one.

Athos on June 29, 2006 at 10:51 AM

Slu you are proabably right. Anybody happen to have a spare Delorian handy? We seriously need to pay good ol’ GW a visit and warn him about how screwed up his country is going to get. Maybe we can get him and the rest of the old convention to clarify a few of the phrases the bastards have twisted out of shape so badly. And if we are especially lucky, maybe add an option for impeachment (or at least shorter terms — maybe 10-20 years?) for SCOTUS.


RobertHuntingdon on June 29, 2006 at 10:52 AM

don’t worry about passing the bar, just pass the trolls. They are not very good at it, and aren’t worth a response.

I have to disagree with the SC on this. The detainees are not covered by the geneva convention, since they refused to abide by any of the rules.

Wyrd on June 29, 2006 at 10:59 AM

This is not a brick wall where graffiti can be spray painted at will. There are restrictions on who can post (registration is required) and what can be posted (offensive posts can be removed). This works to improve the quality of the site. If I wanted to read irrational rants I could go to several other web sites and read the comments there. Havok’s comment generated heat but not too much info. I wouldn’t remove his post but if Hot Air only contained posts like his I wouldn’t visit the comments as often. Trolls should not be fed.
The Court’s ruling, imho, should help to clarify the nature of the fight against terrorists. The president has used two different language patterns to describe the fight. He uses the language of the legal system, “bring them to justice,” in addition to military language, “war on terror.” The Hamdan ruling may lessen the use of legal language. If we cannot get the results we need from the courts then we need to free the military. I am not in favor of tribunals. I am in favor of holding these terrorists until hostilities are over. Of course, that might not be until 2106.

mkstach on June 29, 2006 at 11:03 AM

Wow…. we just set free any terrorist we happen to take in a combat situation…

Miranda Rights? Bringing back soldiers who capture them so they can “Face their accuser”?

The winners here are the terrorists, and the Legal Profesion who was just handed a taxpayer paid bonanza.

Looks like CONGRESS needs to step up, and fix this. We need to have AMERICAN LAW decide how we treat Enemy POWs at this point…

Romeo13 on June 29, 2006 at 11:05 AM

I think what bothers me about Kennedy is the same thing that really bothered me about O’Connor – those two justices seem to think that “swing vote” is a Constitutionally-required office in the Supreme Court.

Honestly, though, I’m just still really ticked at Kennedy for his part in Kelo.

Slublog on June 29, 2006 at 11:05 AM


“shows you how ridiculous this site is, no?”

Then by all means ……. leave.

darwin on June 29, 2006 at 11:06 AM

The Geneva Conventions may be applied thusly: Military tribunals are allowed to determine whether someone is an illegal combatant as defined by the GCs. If such individuals are found to be spies, saboteurs, or other non-uniformed combatants, they are subject to execution. Sentence can be carried out immediately. All quite legal.


chsw on June 29, 2006 at 11:11 AM

Too bad the republicans aren’t the majority party in Congress, eh?

Labamigo on June 29, 2006 at 11:11 AM

It is a real tribute to our fighting men and women that these detainees didn’t take a bullet to the head on the battle field…
My suggestion is to load them all in a C130, slap a parachute on their backs, and “drop them off” from whence they came.
The idea of trying them in American courts just turns my stomach.

Babs on June 29, 2006 at 11:13 AM

A big score for terrorists and those that support them and hate President Bush (Dems, Jihadis, NYT, MSM, Dixie Chicks).

We’re winning this war on terror so let’s make it tougher on ourselves, just to be fair.

Hening on June 29, 2006 at 11:13 AM

SCOTUS has taken on the power of ratifying treaties, a power not granted it in the Constitution. I’m speaking of Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions, which was rejected by the US in 1977. Protocol 1 grants Geneva protections and processes to non-state actors like terrorists. In Hamdi, SCOTUS seems to have reversed that rejection and ratified Protocol 1 by fiat.

This isn’t a good day for the Constitution.

Al Qaeda, on the other hand, is free to go on violating Protocol 1 and all of the other Geneva Convention standards as much as it wants to.

Bryan on June 29, 2006 at 11:28 AM

While it will take a while to analyze the meaning of this decision, it seems like they left a loophole large enough through which one could easily fly the new Airbus A380 with this little gem:

Nothing prevents the President from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary.

It seems like this is actually an opportunity for the president to go back to congress and put this issue to a vote, one that I think would go in his favor and one that would be disasterously stupid to oppose (of course, many Democrats will nonetheless). After Moussouai (sp?), I don’t think there are too many people outside of the NYT editorial room that want these guys tried in an open court.

Nevertheless, I still disagree with the court on this decision, as other presidents have wielded far more executive power during wartime than Bush has even contemplated.

thirteen28 on June 29, 2006 at 11:28 AM

The real problem arises when we start to assemble the next batch of ‘POW’s’. Where do we put them? How will they be imprisoned? Do we establish ovwerseas prisons (non-secret ones) How do we prosecute hundreds of these POW’s. It’s truly landmark changes. One year from today, this thing is going to be a huge headache for anyone involved.
Then the jury. Wait til one or two terrorist POW’s asks for a real jury of his peers. What peers? Do we bring a couple dozen Syrians over for the jury pools?
mkstach, you’re probably right. I let my anger for the ruling vent on a part time ‘visitor troll’.

shooter on June 29, 2006 at 11:34 AM

The liberals have won a big victory. Soon their terrorist friends will be out and about murdering hostages and ambushing soldiers. When all is said and done the triumverate: MSM, Democrattic Party, and the judiciary have conspired to undermine all our accomplishments in the war on terror. May all the SC justices who made this evil decision rot in Hell.

MaiDee on June 29, 2006 at 11:52 AM

I wonder if all the right-wingnuts will start calling the SJC a “bunch of radical, hippie, activist judges legislating from the bench.”

better off blue on June 29, 2006 at 12:05 PM

The real problem arises when we start to assemble the next batch of ‘POW’s’. Where do we put them? How will they be imprisoned? Do we establish ovwerseas prisons (non-secret ones) How do we prosecute hundreds of these POW’s. It’s truly landmark changes. One year from today, this thing is going to be a huge headache for anyone involved.

Perhaps we should try to obviate the problem of POW’s by giving our troops shoot-to-kill orders.

thirteen28 on June 29, 2006 at 12:05 PM

Actually, I think the terrorists have lost a lot in this one, as have our intelligence services.

Since the USSC has ruled that the Geneva Convention applies to them, and they are fighting as “illegal combatants” then the Conventions say we’re supposed to shoot them in the head rather than keep them comfortable while we try to extract information from them.

Ah well, at least that should make the folks who want us to close down Gitmo happy.

KCSteve on June 29, 2006 at 12:10 PM

THis isn’t as bad of a point as you might think

We DO have the right to capture and hold these bastards
We CAN still have military tribunals IF Bush asks for the authority from Congress
We just can’t do tribunals now because Bush hasn’t asked for authority
We are NOT told to shuit down Gitmo or treat them differently or anything of the sort.

In a way I can understand the ruiling as well

Defector01 on June 29, 2006 at 12:13 PM

Not only is this a case where the USSC overstepped it’s bounds (remember, it’s part of a co-equal branch of government)

That’s illustrates part of the problem – the USSC is only co-equal in theory. But how can they really be considered co-equal when they cannot necessarily be overruled and are never held accountable for their decisions? As much contempt as I have for congress these days, at least they are held accountable by the voters, as is the president. Who holds the USSC accountable? And without accountability, then how are they not “more equal” (to use the Orwellian phrase) than the other branches of government?

It’s time for some serious debate about the role of the USSC and some proposals for constitutional amendments that would reign them back in to being a truly co-equal branch of government. The rock-paper-scissors scenario the Founders envisioned is not working out.

thirteen28 on June 29, 2006 at 12:18 PM

Tough One.

pOs3r and shooter make the inevitable point that the new policy on the ground becomes “cry Havoc, and let loose the dogs of war!”

For me, the important issue becomes our attitudes and respect for the rule of law here in the states. It is easy to say that this is just one more perfect example of why should be electing conservatives to the Presidency (Bush notwithstanding); so that we might have Supreme Court judges that can think clearly. The continued erosion of respect for this court is a given, until Ginsburg, Stevens, Breyer, Souter and Kennedy are gone. But some of these are the product of Republican presidents, and I don’t hear anyone questionning Reagan’s conservatism.

We will all have to ask ourselves how to maintain (or develop) any respect for our legal system when these enemy combatants are awarded the same criminal trial/carnival that Moussaoui had. It is a difficult pill to swallow, but swallow we must…

Clearly we have not done our jobs, and we must continue to inform and persuade our fellow citizens on the importance of clear thinking in the school system, the colleges, and in our elected officials. Let’s get to work!

Jaibones on June 29, 2006 at 12:21 PM

I can’t get past the question of ‘jurisdiction’.

In my very brief examination of the ruling, (I am not a lawyer, and do not impersonate one on TV or in the movies.)
it looks like a very narrow opinion. i.e. Bush can’t set up ‘this’ type of commission; it must be a courts-martial or civilian court.

But I still can’t get passed the question of ‘jurisdiction’.
US Law, and US Courts do not have jurisdiction outside of US territory. Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) doesn’t have jurisdiction over civilians. In war, captured/detained citizens of other countries are, after some time, returned to civilian courts in that country, not to US courts in this country.

So. . . I would just send them back to their home country, and anyone who had a beef with that, could take it up with Justice Kennedy. If Bush can’t set up military commissions/tribunals, then I would not turn the case over to civilian courts, because they don’t have jurisdiction either. Send’m home and let their home country deal with’m.

rockhauler on June 29, 2006 at 12:25 PM

I’m with chsw on this one: ordinarily, spies, saboteurs, bandits and brigands get an on-the-spot determination of their “status” – and then get summarily executed.

The line of inquiry is quite simple, really:

– “What country’s army are you fighting for?”
– “What’s your unit? What’s your mission? Who’s your commander?”
“Where’s your uniform?”

After that, just find a wall to stand them up against.

Especially given the recent awful fate of those two privates who found themselves prisoners of the enemy before being tortured and murdered, look for fewer unlawful combatants to be taken prisoner on the battlefield. It’s been done before, in a related context: In WWII, the German SS had an earned reputation for killing allied POWs (e.g., the Malmedy massacre); so the allies in general, and the Russians in particular, took a rather dim view toward taking German SS prisoners.

And the chain of command tended to look up at the ceiling and whistle if anybody even bothered to report such incidents.

Just one example from that conflict: At the Remagen Bridge, a couple of GIs surprised some Germans who were trying to unjam the machine gun that they’d been using. The Germans turned toward the Americans, shouting, “Bitte! Bitte!” Upon which one of the Americans shot them all down, turned to the other and said –

“I wonder what ‘bitte’ means?”

Well, freshen it up a bit for the 21st century: “I wonder what [incomprehensible shouting in Arabic] means?”

Spurius Ligustinus on June 29, 2006 at 12:35 PM

Being relatively new to blog lingo, I was temporarily perplexed by the term ‘SCOTUS’ which I had never heard before.It sounds like some horribly communicable , incurable venereal disease. Now that I know what it means I still opt for ‘venereal disease’.

MaiDee on June 29, 2006 at 12:43 PM

Hmmm… after thinking on this a bit…

The SCOTUS was really in a bind. They are correct that there has never been a statuatory debate on how to treat prisoners of war once they hit US soil.

We’ve usually kept them out of the country, so the need to have this type of “Law” on the books just wasn’t there.

Problem is that now we do have this problem, and Congress is busy debating a Stupid Political “statement” about publishing classified material (instead of doing somthing about it) and NOT giving the President the Powers he needs…

They did mention some law from a couple of years back, which doesn’t cover these “gentlemen”…. anyone know what that law is all about?

Romeo13 on June 29, 2006 at 12:55 PM

This might lead to an immediate discussion of what their status is and whether they should be tried in military tribunals. If this leads to a discussion, the Republicans better lock down their ranks and prevent these bastards from getting a day in a civilian court; if this turns into another immigration debate I will be livid. There was a law, Romeo, back in the 1940s where a German POW asked to be tried in a civilian court of law and the SCOTUS said that no POW has a right to be tried in a civilian court. The problem with this is that the German WAS a pow FROM a distinct country and WORE a uniform. Al-Qaeda and the Insurrgents do not do any of those. The best example from history were the insurgents in Japan and Germany (the werewolves) and they were executed on the spot.

Defector01 on June 29, 2006 at 1:29 PM

Romeo, a bunch of POWs were brought into country in WWII; the question was never raised.

I’m thinking that the Gitmo prisoners will be rolled over to the countries where they were taken, where their living conditions will definitely be suicide-worthy.

Mike O on June 29, 2006 at 1:37 PM

Yep, much to think about. You pretty much can’t let ’em loose, can’t try ’em, can’t keep ’em, and can’t not try them. You certainly can’t make the moonbats happy.

As much as I would like a shoot-to-kill order, I think institutionalizing an order like that wouldn’t be good for the troops…maybe a quiet word, and throw the media out of the engagement area.

How about this:

Return them to their home countries, the countries where they were captured, or the countries in which their crimes occurred…whichever is most prone to hang them.

trainer on June 29, 2006 at 2:15 PM

Another cryptic decision handed down from the supreme court. They can be held indefinte time but they can’t be tried by military tribunals. If they are charged with a crime, they must be charged in a US court because tribunals are too rigid and secretive.

If this is the case, why try them at all? They can stay in Gitmo forever or be sent to a Gitmo type place in the Afghan or Iraqi desert where we can let Islamic laws take care of them.
This can also become a call for reform of the judicary and place a focus on left-wing judges citing international law in deciding US cases.

Either way, Bush wins.

It’ll take a few days for people smarter than us to make sense of it but it doesn’t sound all that bad.

madmonaco on June 29, 2006 at 2:38 PM

Gee, guess what? The lawyers won.

tormod on June 29, 2006 at 3:07 PM

The U.S. government detained nearly half a million Nazi prisoners of war in 511 camps across the country between the years 1942 and 1945. German Soldiers were imprisoned in 45 of the 48 states.

I stand corrected… now we have to ask, what changed in the law?

SCOTUS said we can detain them indefinatly as POWs?… Now they have a choice… either they can declare themselves POWs, OR we figure out how to declare them as Spys (since they were not wearing uniforms) under the Geneva Convention, and shoot them.

Romeo13 on June 29, 2006 at 4:17 PM

I don’t see the big problem here–Bush needs to get Congress to ok military commissions to prosecute these people as enemy combantants. The ruling basically is rapping W’s knuckles and saying war powers are not open-ended, make it kosher. (For those of you who are sputtering at this thought, remember come 2008, what if Hillary is president–you happy with her having no limits in this was? Remember, a country of laws, not men.)

I don’t get the Nazi POW comparison–no one is questioning from what I understand, that we have the right to detain POWs, who are of course not subject to prosecution in general.

Re the composition of the SCOTUS, there are by my recollection only 2 of the 9 nines judges not appointed by Republicans–Ginsberg and Breyer. At what point does the refrain “wait til we get our guys on the court” become a bit strained? Ideally the composition should reflect the makeup of the country. (God, what am I thinking!!!!!)

honora on June 29, 2006 at 5:34 PM

The problem Honora is that these are NOT POWs in the classic sense, they are ununiformed irregular fighters, who under the Geneva convention can be shot…

However, our own court system and a bunch of left leaning lawyers are saying that since they are not POWs, this is a LEGAL case which should be tried, with full due process and Civil rights. How many lawyers are screaming for “hearings” for those in Gitmo?

Court cases for every person captured in time of war would destroy our ability to fight effectivly. Soldiers would have to be worried about getting evidence, instead of fighting.

Add to that the fact that technicaly we are NOT at war… and you have a huge legal quagmire.

Romeo13 on June 29, 2006 at 5:40 PM


“reflect the makeup of the country”? What the hell areyou thinking? You want 9 judges, where only 3 of them vote? You want to divvy up the Supreme Court on a racial spoils system? You want a gender quota?

How about maybe finding the 9 most qualified constitutional lawyers/judges for the very narrowly limited job of ruling on court cases from a constitional perspective as the final word of law?

Jaibones on June 29, 2006 at 6:18 PM

sorry = constitutional

Jaibones on June 29, 2006 at 6:19 PM

Romeo13: I know they’re not POWs but take your point. It seems that given this war is not “traditional” there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed–what is the best method to deal with this new paradigm, that both reflects our values as a nation and punishes those who should be punished? Don’t have the answer, but certainly given the stakes this needs a comprehensive solution.

Jaibones: I assume that the presidents who appointed the current bench–Ford, Reagan, Clinton, both Bushes–were looking to find the “9 most qualified constitutional lawyers/judges for the very narrowly limited job of ruling on court cases from a constitutional perspective as the final word of law”. This particular ruling, from my POV, was more about asserting the principle of the rights and duties of the legislative branch as a co-equal branch with the executive. Re “the makeup of the country” I am referring to the idea that the ideas and political leanings of the country should be reflected in the court–as they are in the other branches.

honora on June 30, 2006 at 11:19 AM

All those points mean that we’re walking brand new ground and so there are some questions as to how far a president’s powers go. Previously I posted that the SCOTUS gave the president a nice little loop hole to go through and go around their decision. Hvaing now realized that SCOTUS just IGNORED the law that was passed I’m a little more annoyed. So Congress will go through and do it again unfortunately but this time the court will keep its damn mouth shut. As to how best to deal with them, the last two times we faced insurrgents like this was in WWII with the Werewolves and we shot them on site. That won’t work anymore, but we can’t keep them indefinetely.

Defector01 on June 30, 2006 at 5:41 PM