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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Welcome To Ft. Leavenworth Khalid Sheik Muhammad. You'll Be Staying In One Of Our Geneva Convention Suites. Would Like The Turn Down Service?

John McCain must have loved today's Supreme Court ruling; Supreme Court Holds Enemy Detainees Can Petition Civilian Courts for Release:
Terrorist suspects detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have the right to petition US civilian courts to release them, the Supreme Court held in the Boumediene v. Bush opinion released earlier this morning.

In a 5-4 decision that could derail the trials of admitted terrorists including 9-11 planner Khalid Sheik Muhammad, the high court ruled unconstitutional part of the 2006 Military Commissions Act which barred terrorist prisoners from asserting the right to habeas corpus writs in US courts.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in which Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Souter and Stevens concurred. Chief Justice Roberts, along with Justices Scalia, Alito and Thomas dissented.

In the summary of the opinion released by the court says directly that, “Petitioners have the Constitutional privilege of habeas corpus. They are not barred from seeking the writ or invoking the Suspension Clause’s protections because they have been designated as enemy combatants or because of their presence at Guantanamo.’

This ruling may result in the release of some Guantanamo inmates and the transfer of others’ trials into the civilian criminal justice system.
Something John McCain is all in favor of. Just imagine all the enemy combatants making a mockery of our judicial system while luxuriating in the new Geneva Convention Suites at Fort Leavenworth. Which is what will happen under President McCain. For all of you who think John McCain is going to appoint conservatives to the court, justices who might damage his precious McCain-Feingold or have a realistic understanding of the war we are fighting, don't fool yourselves about The McCain Court:
But will the Arizonan make good and usher in a conservative majority on the Court? Unlikely. Republicans hoping to rally their dispirited base in 2008 can find little evidence that John McCain is interested in effecting a judicial counter-revolution. [...]

Given the chance to join conservatives in disarming Democratic opposition to conservative judges, McCain compromised. Lacking incentives to appoint strict constructionists, his attitude toward judicial conservatives runs between indifference and hostility. And while McCain dutifully praises Roberts and Alito in public, he sometimes questions their rulings—particularly when they threaten to overturn his legislative legacy. [...]

Rather than contending with the constitutional question, McCain joined Democrat Ben Nelson to form the Gang of 14. The seven participating Democrats agreed that for the duration of the 109th Congress they would no longer vote with their party to filibuster judicial nominees except in “extraordinary circumstances”; in turn the seven Republicans would refuse to vote with then Majority Leader Bill Frist on the “nuclear option.” For hardcore conservatives, the Gang of 14, though expedient to confirm Roberts and Alito, placed principle second to bipartisan accommodation. Even today, McCain admits that his deal with Democrats ensured that several of Bush’s appointments to federal appeals courts were permanently sidelined. [...]

McCain would be the first president in the modern era to come into office with major legislative accomplishments at the federal level. As conservative legal blogger Illya Somin wrote at “The Volokh Conspiracy”, “a President McCain would face a difficult tradeoff between the goal of appointing conservative jurists and the goal of saving the McCain-Feingold law from invalidation by the Court.”

Protecting a senator’s legacy is rarely the assigned duty of a Supreme Court justice, but it isn’t unprecedented. Franklin Roosevelt, notorious for his conflicts with the High Court, appointed Hugo Black, a Democratic senator from Alabama and key ally on New Deal legislation. Black went on to reverse the Court’s trend of overruling the battery of programs he and FDR championed.

While McCain heaps praise on Roberts and Alito on the campaign trail, he surely realizes these two justices are doing more than any others to erase his proudest legislative achievement, campaign finance reform.
The article goes on to say that McCain may be more interested in his legacy as President than as Senator, and that will cause him to keep his promise about appointing conservative justices. However, given his past record of stabbing conservatives in the back, I don't believe it for a second. Trust him and you'll end up "Gang-o-14-Banged" by the Maverick and his Senatorial disciples.

UPDATE: A little tidbit from the drooling-ruling by the SCOTUS today:
We hold that Art. I, §9, cl. 2, of the Constitution has full effect at Guantanamo Bay.
Here's what that part of the Constitution says:
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
Surely "Justice" Kennedy read past the comma, right? Right?

UPDATE II: Gabriel has a good post on the ruling. He's all lawyerly and stuff and explains why they're wrong. I just think they're dumbf--ks.

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