My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Supreme Court restores habeas corpus, strikes down key part of Military Commissions Act

In a major rebuke to the Bush administration's theories of presidential power -- and in an equally stinging rebuke to the bipartisan political class which has supported the Bush detention policies -- the U.S. Supreme Court today, in a 5-4 decision (.pdf), declared Section 7 of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 unconstitutional. The Court struck down that section of the MCA because it purported to abolish the writ of habeas corpus -- the means by which a detainee challenges his detention in a court -- despite the fact that the Constitution permits suspension of that writ only "in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion."

Read all about it here.


  1. This is WAY more than a rebuke of the Bush Administration, as this decision contradicts 232 years of US practice & past decisions.

    Will be useful to read the full decision and the ensuing comments.

    Certainly has constitutional scholars "sitting up and paying attention" given the variance from established case law of several centuries.

    Interesting times!



  2. Hopefully you can add a link to full decision when made public.

    The current issue is a "Syllabus" which is apparently a non-binding summary (all 134 pages of Summary - gasp!!).

    Amazing disclaimer too:

    NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
    being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
    The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
    prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
    See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337."



  3. We'll revisit this topic in 10-15 years and ask ourselves if it was such a good idea...or NOT.

    Personally I have no issue with giving those folks some formal means/process to question their detention and so forth. Where I do have a problem is courts essentially giving them the same rights as any American citizen.

    I think our founding fathers would turn over in their graves at this. Our enemies can only be laughing their collective a$#es off at us.