My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


SCOTUS Rules Against the President In Hamdan [UPDATED]

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees.

As expected, the Court ruled 5-3, with Justice Kennedy joining the liberal block and Chief Justice Roberts recusing himself. In a sharply worded dissent Justice Thomas got it about right:

The court's willingness, Thomas said, "to second-guess the determination of the political branches that these conspirators must be brought to justice is both unprecedented and dangerous."

But, never fear, one of the Justices gave the President an out:

from Breyer's concurrence: "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,"

Anybody want another election-year issue for Congress? If it's framed right, this one is tailor-made for the GOP to corner the Dems into siding with the Belgian Parlaiment and the ACLU on the side of terrorists, or to give the President the authority he needs to deal with the detainees.

I am also reminded of Merryman, ex parte and the example of another controversial President . . .

UPDATE: As if on cue, Nancy Pelosi calls the decision a "triumph", and muddles reality (in a way ONLY Nancy Pelosi can) with this statement: "[this decision is] a reminder of our responsibility to protect both the American people and our Constitutional rights." Somebody on her staff ought to remind her that these people are not Americans and are not entitled to "our" rights.

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