Thursday, June 12, 2008

History Shall Not Absolve Him

Today, in Boumediene v. Bush, USSC No. 06-1195, the United States Supreme Court held that enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay can employ the constitutional privilege of habeas corpus to challenge their detention there in the federal court system. The privilege of habeas corpus is pretty significant: it was one of the only individual rights enumerated in the Constitution before the states ratified the Bill of Rights. Justice Kennedy's majority opinion is long.

The real fun in this case can be found in the breathless dissents. Justice Scalia's* dissent is the most breathless of all, maybe the most breathless dissent in the history of the Court. He closes with a bang: "The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today." Ominous.

You just have to wonder about what would motivate him to write that sentence. What has the Court done today? Affirmed the importance of an individual right enumerated in the Magna freaking Carta, that's what. Rejected an incredible argument by the worst President in modern American history that the habeas privilege doesn't apply at Gitmo because Gitmo isn't technically America -- even though Gitmo is under America's complete control.


You just have to wonder: is there any act at all that the Republic could take in the name of the war on terror that Justice Scalia would reject? Other than, of course, confiscating our guns?

*Stipulation: Justice Scalia is way, way, way smarter than the humble author of this little blog.


Lon Sobel said...

I very much agree that our current President is "the worst President in modern American history." I also agree that the President's argument that the Constitution doesn't apply at Gitmo was "incredible."

However I very much disagree with your stipulation that "Justice Scalia is way, way, way smarter than the humble author of this little blog." That just isn't so at all -- quite wrong, if fact.

Anonymous said...

Scalia also wrote that Americans would be killed as a result of this decision. Not to be outdone in the hysterical hyperbole department, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain commented that it was one of the worst decisions in the history of the court. Whoa, Nellie.

And let's stipulate that Scalia, McCain and the author of this weblog are all way, way smarter than our current President.