And after too long, at last victory, at least in this:
Today the Supreme Court Ruled that the Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay do in fact have the right to challenge their detention in American Courts. At the same time, they also ruled that a US Citizen, declared an enemy combatant, cannot be held indefinitely without trial.
These are groundbreaking cases in the balance between civil liberties in a time of grave uncertainty, and a defeat for the Bush administration.
I must admit, given the court’s history, in for example Korematsu, in which the internment of the Japanesee-American citizens was found to be lawful, I was afraid the Court would once again fail to protect our civil liberties.
But it seems that today at least, the better angels of their judgment prevailed.
The Court went 6-3 on the Guantanamo Bay case, with Scalia writing the dissent joined by Rhenquist and Thomas (big surprise). The Hamdi case went 8-1, with Clarence Thomas as the sole dissenting opinion. Who knew he had it in him?
Nonetheless, these decisions are a real piece of welcome news, especially in a time when the news seems to hold nothing but dread. Today the court stopped this administration from “taking away, and driving a truck through the right of habeas corpus and the Fifth Ammendment”, as Frank Dunham so eloquently put it before the court.
“A state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation’s citizens.” wrote Justice O’Connor.
Thank you Madam Justice.
Let Freedom Ring.